Sunday Morning Book Thread 02-02-2014: Odds & Sods [OregonMuse]


wpid-photo-19-feb-2013-21201.jpg
Where the Wild Things Are - Curtain From The Opera Set, 1979


(Image courtesy of tygertale blog. Yeah, I didn't know that WTWTA had been made into an opera, either.)

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


Amazon and... Kobo?

According to a reader survey by goodereader.com, Amazon and Kobo are basically tied as being the online bookstore of choice for serious readers. And by serious, they mean "users that often buy 50-100 books a year and often have more than one e-reader in the household." The results:

Amazon and Kobo were tied with 35.34% of the overall votes and these two stores have the largest international footprint. They exist in over 30 different countries and offer millions of titles. Kobo has a much larger library of titles, with over 3.6 million available, they are also easier for people to buy books from. One of the advantages these two companies have is their extensive portfolio of e-readers and tablets to facilitate reading.

The Barnes & Noble Nook was predicted to go under completely this year, but it's not dead, yet:

Barnes and Noble might be seeing a 30% decline on their hardware and eBook sales during the past holiday season, but they they do have user loyalty. 10.04% of our readers prefer to buy their Nook Books, but 99% of the participants originated from the US...Their ecosystem is fairly well developed and they offer self-published titles under the Nook Press banner and full color content optimized for the Nook HD. The sole new device of 2013 was the Nook Glowlight, which tends to be your best friend for binge reading.

So we'll see if B&N can make up lost ground. And then there's this tidbit:

Sadly, Android and iOS readers have to be based in the US/UK to buy books online.

I did not know that.


Windows 8 Tablet Price Reduction

My next e-reader/tablet purchase may be some sort of Windows 8 device. I think W8 is an abysmal interface for desktop computers (I much prefer Windows 7), but it should work well in the tablet environment it was obviously designed for.

Which is good because the price is coming down on a number of Windows 8 tablets:

Among the tablets that can now be picked up for cheap include the Dell Venue 8 Pro which has seen a $70 drop in price from the original $299. This does make the offering quite lucrative for a tablet that offers 32 GB of storage. Also at $229, the Dell Venue 8 Pro is slam bang in the territory of 2013 Nexus 7 that offers 16 GB of storage and an inch less of screen space (but with more pixels) for the same price.

I have to say that $229 for a 32GB tablet is mighty tempting. But

What is also interesting is that Microsoft is not extending the generosity to its own Surface range that continues to retail at the original price tags.

Huh. I wonder why? I also wonder what answer I would get from a Microsoft rep if I asked why I should buy a Surface instead of a lower-priced competitor?

The Latest By Robert Harris

Several weeks ago, I mentioned Pompeii, by Robert Harris, which elicited mostly favorable comments from the horde, as did his
Cicero trilogy (Imperium, Conspirata, and the third one is still being written). A few months ago, he came out with a book about the Dreyfus affair, a novel entitledAn Officer and a Spy. The main character is

Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that “proved” Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus’s guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military

I haven't read this book, so I don't really know if it's any good, but I see that all of the 78 reviews on Amazon give it either 5 or 4 stars, mostly 5. We all know that Amazon reviews tend to be inflated, but there you are.


Famous British Morons

It's always interesting what Amazon searches will turn up. Searching for Harris' books somehow brought me to Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers (eh, Sellers, Harris, what's the difference? says the Amazon search engine), which amused me. I knew O'Toole and Burton could put it away, but the one I remember most was Oliver Reed. I swear that guy came out of the womb drunk and stayed that way all of his life. I don't think I've ever seen him in an interview where he wasn't stewed to the gills.

So if you want to read about the boozy antics of four legendary British drunks, both on and off camera, here is the book for you.


Oh, Happy Day

According to this article, Jimmy Carter has written another book, and it will be out soon. I know you all can hardly wait. I know I can't.

So, what's this book going to be about?

Simon & Shuster announced Tuesday that the former president's "A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power" will be published March 25.

The publisher says Carter will draw upon personal observations from his worldwide travels as he condemns abuses of women and girls and the alleged distortions of religious texts cited as justification.

Yeah, that ought to be good. My only question is, what's the over-under on how many pages Carter will devote to ritual female genital mutilation in third world Muslim countries?


OK, Now This Is Just Silly

Author Ian Doescher has loved Shakespeare since eighth grade. He also likes Star Wars. So he thought, hey, why not combine the two? rewrote the screenplay of Episode IV in iambic pentameter and published the result as William Shakespeare's Star Wars.

Here's what the rolling prologue looks like:

PROLOGUE.

Outer space.

Enter chorus.

CHORUS:
It is a period of civil war.
The spaceships of the rebels, striking swift
From base unseen, have gain’d a vict’ry o’er
The cruel Galactic Empire, now adrift.
Amidst the battle, rebel spies prevail’d
And stole the plans to a space station vast,
Whose pow’rful beams will later be unveil’d
And crush a planet: ’tis the DEATH STAR blast.
Pursu’d by agents sinister and cold,
Now Princess Leia to her home doth flee,
Deliv’ring plans and a new hope they hold:
Of bringing freedom to the galaxy.
In time so long ago begins our play,
In star-crossed galaxy far, far away.

I think this would be a great gag gift for your book-loving friends, and also for snooty types who look down on popular culture and think they're better than everybody else because they read Shakespeare and listen to classical music.

This is Doescher's first book, and it sold so well that he wrote a sequel, which will be released this March. It will be titled 'The Empire Striketh Back', but you probably already knew that. The third installment, 'The Jedi Doth Return' is scheduled for July.


Books By Morons

Long-time moron Sean Gleeson (remember him? I do.) e-mailed yesterday asking me to let you all know that he has published his first book, and I must say, it's not one you see every day. Subjective Grounds: Writings by Persons with the Initials S.G is the title and he says it's "essentially an arbitrary compilation of good, short, things to read, all written buy 10 guys, and 1 lady, with my initials." Authors include Samuel Gompers, Saint Gregory, Saxo Grammaticus, and Stephen Glass, yes, that Stephen Glass, the serial liar and fabulist who spent several years at The New Republic making stuff up out of thin air and successfully passing it off as journalism. The particular Glass article Sean chose was the one that finally got the little weasel busted.

My only complaint about this book is that Amazon says it's a 2.5mb Kindle file, but the book is only 72 pages long. Really? To compare, one of the editions of Les Misérables, which totals 959 pages, is only 2.1mb. So I wonder what's causing the bloat in Sean's book?

___________


Shiver me timbers! Infrequent moron commenter 'Dandolo' has a short story in the Dark Oak Press pirate anthology A Tall Ship, A Star, And Plunder that just came out. It is available at DarkOakPress.com and Amazon. His story in it is "Fireflies on the Water".

Arrrr!

___________


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 10:10 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Still working on the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series. I completed Clear and Present Danger and have moved to The Sum of All Fears. This time instead of reading them in published order, as I did in the past, I am reading them in chronological order.


One thing I have noticed about Tom Clancy's writing that I never noticed in the past. He is really wasn't that good of a writer. He over used a lot of burned out clichés to try to increase the tension. There seems to be always a big storm coming in the impede the US military's ability to respond to events and shit breaks just at the right time to screw up a mission.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:12 AM (T2V/1)

2 According to a reader survey by goodereader.com, Amazon and Kobo are basically tied as being the online bookstore of choice for serious readers. And by serious, they mean "users that often buy 50-100 books a year and often have more than one e-reader in the household."



That is EXACTLY the way it is here. I am ashamed as an AOSHQ Moron that I spend more on books than on booze.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:13 AM (T2V/1)

3 My next e-reader/tablet purchase may be some sort of Windows 8 device.



The learning curve on my Samsung GT2 using Icecream was damn tough. I have had it for a year now and still find stuff hard.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:15 AM (T2V/1)

4 Currently reading "The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour by Andrei Cherny"

Very interesting so far.

Posted by: Mike Hammer at February 02, 2014 10:17 AM (aDwsi)

5 Morning, morons.

I finished "Lone Survivor" last night. Whew, that took the breath out of me.
Still plowing through "A Storm of Swords." That's it for my current books.

I do like the Kobo store and the Kobo Glo I have. I've never messed with a Kindle Paperwhite, so I can't say how it compares, but I do love the built-in light and a touch screen is nice too (it's my first ereader with a touch screen).

Oh, and any of you Kindle owners who are also Prime members on Amazon, there is a new program that just started that offers one free book per month (from a limited choice) called Kindle First. Check it out.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/kindle/botm/?tag=kb-20

Now off to read the rest of the post...

Posted by: DangerGirl at February 02, 2014 10:22 AM (GrtrJ)

6 Oh, and any of you Kindle owners who are also Prime
members on Amazon, there is a new program that just started that offers
one free book per month (from a limited choice) called Kindle First.
Check it out.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/kindle/botm/?tag=kb-20

Now off to read the rest of the post...


Posted by: DangerGirl at February 02, 2014 10:22 AM (GrtrJ)

I thought they had been doing that for a while???

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:25 AM (T2V/1)

7 I wonder if they have WTWTA coffee cups?

Posted by: Boss Moss at February 02, 2014 10:26 AM (6bMeY)

8 I own a Google Nexus 7 tablet, and I love it. It integrates flawlessly with Win 7 and my Android based phone. The price is right on the 32G first (2012) versions. The Kindle app is great on it. If you are Android based and you like music, you really need to get the Neutron music player.

Posted by: Anthony L. at February 02, 2014 10:28 AM (34n6F)

9 I liked WTWTA fine, but I never understood the desire to turn a skinny picture book into a 90-minute movie, an opera, etc.

Posted by: Jenny Hates Her Phone at February 02, 2014 10:28 AM (GmTxn)

10 Does anyone have a recommendation for a book on the history of Tsarist Russia?

Posted by: Adam at February 02, 2014 10:28 AM (Aif/5)

11 I'm re-reading Armor by John Steakley after first reading it about five years ago. This is one of the best page turning books I've ever read . At least 3/4 of it. I can't believe this guy only wrote a couple of books.

Posted by: Just an observation at February 02, 2014 10:30 AM (WbOdn)

12 and also for snooty types who look down on popular culture and think
they're better than everybody else because they read Shakespeare and
listen to classical music.


Claiming Katie Perry is equal to Mozart is totally a progg thing.

Posted by: HR at February 02, 2014 10:31 AM (hO8IJ)

13 MobiPocket. Free e-reader for PC's.

Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 10:31 AM (ULH4o)

14 I got a Kindle a few years ago from my wife, who proceeded to kidnap it. So this Xmas, I got her a new Kindle Fire HD. It's really nice, and she really likes it.

So Kindle HD, Si!

Further off topic, we have started to get laptops at work with Windows 8.1 THAT HAVE A TOUCH SCREEN. One of my minions that does IT work for the office didn't like Windows 8, but with the touch screen laptop, it's actually pretty nice. Windows 8.1, that is.

Posted by: Ribald Conservative riding Orca at February 02, 2014 10:33 AM (+1T7c)

15 13
MobiPocket. Free e-reader for PC's.


Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 10:31 AM (ULH4o)

Amazon also has a free Kindle app for both the PC and the Android.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:34 AM (T2V/1)

16 Slogging through Walden on Wheels. Dude owns a thesaurus and misuses it. Finished The Giver. The latest Walking Dead comic with the kid. And started I Love You, Beth Cooper.

Posted by: NCKate at February 02, 2014 10:34 AM (Eed4A)

17 I thought they had been doing that for a while???


Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:25 AM (T2V/1)



Eh, maybe you're right. I had never heard about it until someone told me last month it was new.

Regardless, it is a good opportunity to maybe find a new book for free.

Posted by: DangerGirl at February 02, 2014 10:36 AM (GrtrJ)

18 Also just finished American Assasin by Vince Flynn. Heard they have a movie in the works too.

Posted by: Just an observation at February 02, 2014 10:37 AM (WbOdn)

19 18
Also just finished American Assasin by Vince Flynn. Heard they have a movie in the works too.

Posted by: Just an observation at February 02, 2014 10:37 AM (WbOdn)

They do

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:37 AM (T2V/1)

20 Thanks for the plug, OM!

The big download must be the cover art, sorry. This is my first Kindle book, and I was just following Amazon's instructions, uploaded cover art at hi rez. I figured they would downsample it automatically or something.

Posted by: Sean Gleeson at February 02, 2014 10:38 AM (Vs6FA)

21 Vic,

You mentioned awhile back you were reading Vince Flynn's books. In his book "Memorial Day" there is a great technique Rapp uses to get info from some terrorists he's captured. It involves pigs.

You also might enjoy Brad Thor's books. His are similar to Flynns.

Posted by: ExSnipe at February 02, 2014 10:38 AM (LKJt3)

22 Still working through Faust. After that I'm going to finish the Bhagavad-Gita as well as start on a book on Greek warfare.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at February 02, 2014 10:43 AM (lr3d7)

23 Further off topic, we have started to get laptops at
work with Windows 8.1 THAT HAVE A TOUCH SCREEN. One of my minions that
does IT work for the office didn't like Windows 8, but with the touch
screen laptop, it's actually pretty nice. Windows 8.1, that is.

Posted by: Ribald Conservative riding Orca at February 02, 2014 10:33 AM (+1T7c)

In case you don't understand:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/06/28

Posted by: Buck Farack, Gentleman Adventurer at February 02, 2014 10:44 AM (Nk6GS)

24 You mentioned awhile back you were reading Vince
Flynn's books. In his book "Memorial Day" there is a great technique
Rapp uses to get info from some terrorists he's captured. It involves
pigs.



You also might enjoy Brad Thor's books. His are similar to Flynns.

Posted by: ExSnipe at February 02, 2014 10:38 AM (LKJt3)

I had heard that. Unfortunately our local library did not have any of his books and I like to sample at least one and preferably more than one before I start buying.


And they haven't had one on the Daily Deals yet either. I will buy an unknown there if it looks like the stuff I normally like.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:44 AM (T2V/1)

25 ( Tip bush hat @ Vic.... )

Yep, I have the free Kindle app on my Acer and like it well. It seems like most e-book suppliers have free PC readers.

Life's a weird thing- right before Emmy died in 2010 we discussed getting a Kindle and sharing it. But we were poor and they were pricey, so we did not. After I lost her I found that Kindle app, and used it almost exclusively for reading. Then, on some whim, started re-reading "analog" books and have not used it much in a year or so.

Life's funny....

Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 10:46 AM (ULH4o)

26 Daily reminder:

SMOD leading all 2016 polls.

Posted by: Daily Reminder Guy at February 02, 2014 10:49 AM (6j8ke)

27 What tablet to buy? Here's the decision tree:

Own Android phone? Get Android tablet
Own iPhone? Get iPad
Own Win phone? Get Win tablet

Don't own a smartphone (who might this be)?

Own a Mac? Get an iPad and an iPhone
Own a PC? Get a Mac, iPad and an iPhone. ;-)

The key to choosing is to keep all your devices in one ecosphere. Your user experience will be MUCH better.

As for what MS would say about the Surface? They'd say that their hardware is better quality. [Not as good as Apple's but better than the others.]

Posted by: Beeblebrox at February 02, 2014 10:52 AM (VJV5e)

28 Has the groundhog reached his verdict?

Posted by: Dr. Varno at February 02, 2014 10:53 AM (V4CBV)

29 I saw it on the internet; liberals drink more than conservatives. Conservatives being cautious by nature, I conclude y'all are liberals.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. much.. by itself.

Posted by: Peth Longinous at February 02, 2014 10:54 AM (itpbI)

30 #4

Another good book on the Berlin Airlift is 'Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift June 1948 to May 1949.' By Richard Reeves.

I developed a special interest in that time and place after reading Leon Uris' 'Armageddon' and discovering my uncle, a doctor who never anywhere near Germany and his time during the war station above the Arctic Circle, has a cameo in the book. There is no chance of this being coincidence as he was probably the sole human to date with his name.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 10:56 AM (bPxS6)

31 It's groundhog day? Geez. I get so out of touch with this 2X a widower thing. I always let my wives take care of the social stuff, holidays, etc....

Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 10:57 AM (ULH4o)

32 Don't own a smartphone, and don't want one. I have a tracphone for emergencies, with over 2000 minutes on it. I also have a Kindle Paperwhite, a Fire, and the app on my PC.

Since you asked.

Posted by: Empire1 at February 02, 2014 10:57 AM (6e1TS)

33 Speaking of Carter's impending book...and what you mentioned, Muse. There is book, Desert Flower, By Daris Wirie. It addresses genital mutilation but is also story about how she survives to become successful in her own right. It was a great read that I could not put down.

Posted by: DefendUSA at February 02, 2014 10:58 AM (nAHMK)

34 Posted by: DangerGirl at February 02, 2014 10:22 AM (GrtrJ)

When I read "Lone Survivor" I was surprised at the number of BUD/S students that dropped out at the beginning of "Hell Week." They knew it was coming, knew what to expect, yet so many of them mentally failed.

Luttrell had a simple way of dealing with it (I think he was told this technique). Only think about the current task, not the future tasks.

Posted by: ExSnipe at February 02, 2014 10:58 AM (LKJt3)

35 Since you asked.

Posted by: Empire1 at February 02, 2014 10:57 AM (6e1TS)

But no indoor plumbing.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 02, 2014 10:59 AM (QFxY5)

36 I own a Google Nexus 7 tablet, and I love it.

Yeah, that's what I have. I downloaded the Kindle app, the Nook app, and a couple of other free e-reader apps, and I'm all set.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 11:02 AM (fd0Pp)

37 I have one of those dell thingies. My one frustration about windows 8 is at some point its modality breaks. You're working fine using your finger and there is one button that can only be clicked by a mouse because the hot spot for the button is too small to catch a finger press. Or you are working in desktop mode and there is one thing you have to swipe to make it work. The kindle app on it is ok, but not quite as good as a kindle fire especially when you want to change the font size. I still like the reading experience on my old kindle fire. And I've learned to but the bluetooth mouse in my coat pocket when I leave the house with it, just in case. But in all, I'm glad I bought it. Runs real windows programs and fits in my coat pocket.

Don't get me started about how unusable windows 8 is without a touch screen. Friends don't let friends buy windows 8 computers without a touchscreen ( even if they complain that they don't like the glossy screen that doesn't show finger prints. )

Posted by: Ben Ghazi at February 02, 2014 11:03 AM (D+Q9E)

38 25 Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 10:46 AM (ULH4o)


The basic Kindle is now very cheap compared to what it used to be. And with the availability of free books and the Daily Deals for cheap books it will pay for itself if you buy every many books.


The real problem financial wise it that it makes it so easy to buy books. You don't even have to leave the house. That is what slowed me down in buying books.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 11:04 AM (T2V/1)

39 Sorry, CBD, but indoor plumbing (retrofitted, old farm house), and like every other room here, plenty of reading material. ::

Posted by: Empire1 at February 02, 2014 11:04 AM (6e1TS)

40 #14

Yeah, without a touchscreen, using Win8 on a laptop was annoying because the UI didn't work well with a track pad. A mouse with a scroll wheel handles the Start screen fine but most track pads are too small to make scroll zones work well. (I would usually disable scroll zones with earlier Windows because they would get touched more often by accident than intent.) The 8.1 update also makes a big difference in the simple allowance of a control panel check box to go directly to the desktop on login.

It's little details like that, which people told them very loudly were needed long before Win8 went RTM, that would have saved a lot of rancor if they'd just acknowledged the feedback.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 11:04 AM (bPxS6)

41 I have a tracphone for emergencies, with over 2000 minutes on it.

But you have to use those minutes by a certain date, or they disappear. Or you make fresh purchases to extend the expire date.

I also have a tracfone. That's all I need. The "use it or lose it" feature bugs me, but I can see why they have it.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 11:05 AM (fd0Pp)

42 Win 8 sucks and so does Dell for that matter.

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 02, 2014 11:05 AM (nzKvP)

43 I love my Nook, which I bought for $76 on Black Friday. It now has a Kindle app so you can read just about anything.

I also love their cafe and bookstore (sort of). I go there less than I would normally because they have succumbed to the curse of LOUD STORE MUSIC. Everywhere I go there is LOUD STORE MUSIC! Even in the parking lot of a large upscale mall nearby! This is insanity. Make it stop so I can go out again.

Posted by: PJ at February 02, 2014 11:06 AM (ZWaLo)

44 Luttrell had a simple way of dealing with it (I
think he was told this technique). Only think about the current task,
not the future tasks.

Posted by: ExSnipe at February 02, 2014 10:58 AM (LKJt3)



Yep, minute by minute. Told to him by his friend Billy Shelton, the guy who started training him when he was a teenager.

Posted by: DangerGirl at February 02, 2014 11:06 AM (GrtrJ)

45 35? CBD?

"But no indoor plumbing."

When I was a young fella we made yearly trips to Mom's hometown of Pomeroy, Ohio. Most of the houses in the country still had "backhouses"- outhouses.

And while it upgraded to indoor plumbing the place my late wife grew up at- Haase Farm Service-- had man and woman outhouses for customers. Still there, albeit falling down.

Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 11:07 AM (ULH4o)

46 Regarding tablets, if you run out of storage space the Wi-Drive by Kingston is a nice solution. Picked one up this weekend and now have an extra 64g storage space.

Posted by: RWC at February 02, 2014 11:07 AM (9+w3c)

47 Reflections by a Russian Statesman, by Konstantin Pobedonostsev. Should be on every neo reactonary's Kindle. Unshakable autocracy, bitchez! He doesn't even like the jury system.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at February 02, 2014 11:08 AM (iQxYV)

48 And that piece of shit EXP 11 freezes all the time

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 02, 2014 11:09 AM (nzKvP)

49 Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 10:12 AM (T2V/1

Are you working 'Without Remorse' in there? I guess that books comes before all of them.

Posted by: RWC at February 02, 2014 11:10 AM (9+w3c)

50 Damn autocorrect.

Posted by: RWC at February 02, 2014 11:11 AM (9+w3c)

51 Mentioned a few weeks ago that my library had "Christian Nation", which I took for a trial read.
Just as bad as the reviews said. Delusional, in a hate-filled way, but what really grated over the long term was the endless and continuous self-regard and moral preening. Kidneys damn near shut down from an overload of sanctimony, so in truth I just skim-read the last half. 'nuff said.

This week, read "The Good Soldier Schweik" by Jaroslav Hasek (omitting several of the diacritical marks that written Czech delights in). Amusing, if you like coarse humor, and more than most books written a century ago, it is extremely non-pc. More anti-semitic than average, but that may be typical of the time&place too. Apparently, he didn't like the Austro-Hungarian Empire very much, and didn't approve of WW I either. Also a drunk (NTTAWWT) and a commie.

Slowly chewing my way through the unabridged "Diary of Samuel Pepys", which is filled with delights for anyone who enjoys history.
Pepys (pronounced "peeps") kept his diary in an early form of shorthand, which he seems to have considered a fairly effective form of encryption, because he was entirely truthful about everything he wrote about, which includes bribery, adultery, and sneaking out to see the new play. He willed his books, and the bookcases, to Cambridge, where the diaries sat undisturbed until the 1800s.
9 thick volumes, 10 if you count the companion, with the glossary, list of characters, etc.
Somehow I didn't mention that the diaries cover the 1660s.

Levin's "Liberty Amendments" still sitting on the shelf, unread. What, at this point, does it matter?

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at February 02, 2014 11:11 AM (+jyzN)

52 The sequel to Marko Kloos’ sci-fi novel Terms of Enlistment came out this week.

http://tinyurl.com/msq7x6j

Kloos is probably best known for his essay, "Why the Gun is Civilization"
http://tinyurl.com/7w9dao9

Posted by: BornLib at February 02, 2014 11:11 AM (zpNwC)

53 Re: 32 -- "Don't own a smartphone, and don't want one. I have a tracphone for emergencies, with over 2000 minutes on it. I also have a Kindle Paperwhite, a Fire, and the app on my PC."

I'm with you on not wanting a smart phone.

Is the reading experience on the Kindle Paperwhite enough better than on the Kindle Fire to make it worth owning both?

I installed Android x86 (free) on an old Acer netbook PC. I'm really starting to like Android a lot. Tons of apps! Kindle app works well.

(I'm an old IT guy, had to support Windows and Win Server, use mostly Linux and Android now.)

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:12 AM (TV2Em)

54 I want to wish President Obama a happy Super bowl Day and don't work too hard today for once.......

Posted by: Dorcus Blimline at February 02, 2014 11:12 AM (iB0Q2)

55 Barnes and Noble was selling Nook HD w 32GB for $150 before Christmas. Don't know if they are still selling them or that cheap but it was a great buy.

Posted by: Richard Gozinya at February 02, 2014 11:12 AM (KkQGg)

56 Picked up the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Great tablet. Is it the best, well no. For it's price though, it is a great deal. Come with MS Office Student edition 2013.

Posted by: blindgoose at February 02, 2014 11:12 AM (qLv+1)

57 27 - I don't have a smart phone. In fact, I don't own ANY cell phone. Not just that I wrote of their use to monitor and kill millions into my book (The Stars Came Back), but they are used to track everyone and everything right now, as discussed here: http://blog.joehuffman.org/2014/01/31/metatdata-meet-chilling-effect/
A kindle, with wireless turned off, doesn't track you. I download to it via USB. Works great, with 100% less movement tracking, and I know what the kids have on it because I put it there.


Posted by: Rolf at February 02, 2014 11:13 AM (+O7nZ)

58 38 25 Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 10:46 AM (ULH4o)


The basic Kindle is now very cheap compared to what it used to be. And with the availability of free books and the Daily Deals for cheap books it will pay for itself if you buy every many books.


The real problem financial wise it that it makes it so easy to buy books. You don't even have to leave the house. That is what slowed me down in buying books.
Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 11:04 AM (T2V/1)

Around here (Columbus, OH) used e-ink Kindles run about $30.

Posted by: BornLib at February 02, 2014 11:14 AM (zpNwC)

59 Regarding the Nook Simple Touch: You can get them new in many places for $40. A good solid EPUB display device for the price. There are plenty of tools available to allow using files from sources other than Barnes Noble. For example, it is easy to remove the DRM from Kindle files and convert them to EPUB for use on a wide variety of devices, including the Nook.

I fear Barnes Noble is never going to get back on their feet and will likely cease to be within this decade but at the moment the Nook is a very good hardware choice for the money.

What is easy to overlook about Kobo is that they are a major player in e-readers outside the US. It may be "Who?" here but in other parts of the world it is the Nook that gets that response.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 11:15 AM (bPxS6)

60 Squeeee! Those little libraries (in the sidebar) are sooo cute!

Posted by: Mindy (Cupcake) at February 02, 2014 11:15 AM (mQwL2)

61 43: Loud B&N music

I complained to store mgr. No improvement. I stopped going.

I love Amazon & my basic 2013 Kindle, but the touchscreen Paperwhite sure looks nice...

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:15 AM (TV2Em)

62 Is the reading experience on the Kindle Paperwhite enough better than on the Kindle Fire to make it worth owning both?
Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:12 AM (TV2Em)

The main thing I notice is the weight. Fires are noticeably heavier.

Posted by: BornLib at February 02, 2014 11:17 AM (zpNwC)

63 Just finished a good one on the Kindle, "Havana Lost," by Libby Fischer Hellmann, a through-the-generations saga set first in Havana in the runup to and then during the revolution, thence to Angola, near the end of Cuba's Vietnam, ending up in the Chicagoland suburbs of Barrington, Evanston, and Lake Forest.

Godfatheresque, is how I think it reads. Quite good.

And not it will be William Lashner's "The Barkeep," with one of those great openings like Elmore Leonard always did, hooking you into the characters right from the first page.

He makes a mojito. A really well-made mojito.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at February 02, 2014 11:17 AM (tmFlQ)

64 Michael Z. Williamson: Liberal Literary "SF" And Its Irrelevance

http://tinyurl.com/m6ps57f

Posted by: BornLib at February 02, 2014 11:19 AM (zpNwC)

65 Oregon Muse -- True, but at $19.99 every three months, it's much cheaper than the least expensive smartphone plan I've seen, and doesn't really bother me.

Doug -- For plain-text reading, I prefer the Paperwhite; it seems easier on my eyes, But the Fire is great for anything that benefits from color or illustrations, like cookbooks or crafting books.

Posted by: Empire1 at February 02, 2014 11:21 AM (6e1TS)

66 "Is the reading experience on the Kindle Paperwhite enough better than on the Kindle Fire to make it worth owning both"

IMHO, yes. The difference in eyestrain to me is considerable. SID (Society for Information Display) refers to this as reflective vs. transmissive in terms of the lighting.

One of the reasons the newer e-readers with built-in lighting don't have the light behind the panel (besides the problem of that not working with e-ink displays) is to avoid shining a light straight at you as a typical LCD display would do. The difference can be subtle but an hour spent reading on one of my e-ink devices doesn't leave my eye burning as the same hour using a color LCD tablet does.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 11:22 AM (bPxS6)

67 I subscribe to an Amazon blog through my original Kindle, "Free Kindle Books and Tips." $0.99 monthly.

Every single day the blog downloads a new posting, listing a half dozen or more books that are on sale that day, some free, some 99 cents or so. The writeups include descriptions, and I download maybe one book each week.

I am a Prime Amazon member, so that gives me one free book borrow each month. I only buy a book every six months or so. Most all I read is free.

I like my original Kindle just fine. Use daylight to read, or a lamp at night. Just like a book.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at February 02, 2014 11:24 AM (tmFlQ)

68 This week, read "The Good Soldier Schweik" by
Jaroslav Hasek (omitting several of the diacritical marks that written
Czech delights in). Amusing, if you like coarse humor, and more than
most books written a century ago, it is extremely non-pc. More
anti-semitic than average, but that may be typical of the timeplace
too. Apparently, he didn't like the Austro-Hungarian Empire very much,
and didn't approve of WW I either. Also a drunk (NTTAWWT) and a commie.
Posted by: sock_rat_eez at February 02, 2014 11:11 AM


First read "Schweik" a long, long time ago (in high school), and recently acquired another copy. Gotta agree with your analysis. Fortunately, the "commie" part of Hasek's own story doesn't really mess up the book. And yes, the antisemitism was a function of Hasek's time and place....

It is still a good read.

And it is on paper, like every book I own. I have no interest in e-books. I'll leave that modern stuff to you techy-types.

Posted by: MrScribbler at February 02, 2014 11:25 AM (ff7/5)

69 Vic, Amazon has one Thor book, Black List, for $3.99.

Posted by: NCKate at February 02, 2014 11:25 AM (Eed4A)

70 I love Amazon my basic 2013 Kindle, but the touchscreen Paperwhite sure looks nice...

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:15 AM (TV2Em)

That screen looks inviting, but I won't replace my basic Kindle because I want to continue being able to hold in either hand and not use my other hand to change pages. Very convenient when I've got the kitty tucked in on one side, wrapped around my hand.

Posted by: Tunafish at February 02, 2014 11:28 AM (Nzqyt)

71 Really enjoyed J A Jance's "Second Watch" - latest Beaumont series book. I've read a couple of others in the series and enjoyed them. Above average cop books.

I'm #1 on the hold queue for Harris' "An Officer and a Spy" from the library. I'm a Harris fan.

Guilty pleasure -- I was looking for something light in the library's Overdrive e-book offerings and downloaded James Patterson's "Gone." Pretty good, especially for free. (With Patterson, it depends on the co-author and a bit of luck.)

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:29 AM (TV2Em)

72 Oh, I liked my original Kindle with the keyboard. Unfortunately, my previous cat knocked it off my desk and the beagle we had at the time got hold of it. When I replaced it, the Paperwhite was in my price range, so I went for that.

Posted by: Empire1 at February 02, 2014 11:31 AM (6e1TS)

73 Thanks, horde, for all the info on e-readers. Much appreciated.

Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 11:31 AM (ULH4o)

74 Thanks for the tip on Kindle First for Amazon Prime members, Vic. Just put "The Rented Mule" on my device.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at February 02, 2014 11:32 AM (tmFlQ)

75 72?

Animals are funny. My Cole-boy ( The late Miss Emily's baby- a Border Collie ) is a thief. Soon as we got him he stole a $5 tip from the Vet's pocket. Until his muzzle got too big to dip into pockets he robbed everyone of anything in them.

Today a glove went missing. Looked hi and low for it- couldn't find it....

Looked out in the yard. Yep, Border Collie and glove....

Posted by: backhoe at February 02, 2014 11:39 AM (ULH4o)

76 46
Regarding tablets, if you run out of storage space the Wi-Drive by
Kingston is a nice solution. Picked one up this weekend and now have an
extra 64g storage space.

Posted by: RWC at February 02, 2014 11:07 AM (9+w3c)


If you don't load it up with music you shouldn't have a problem with disk space. The Samsung GT2 comes with 8 gig of space. I have probably over 500 books on mine now and haven't touched the original 8 gig. I have also added a 32G card in its slot. I will die before I can load all that up with books.

And for music I use the Sansa clip is available in the 4 or 8 gig variety with also the ability to add 32G of memory.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 11:40 AM (T2V/1)

77
A good read on the Dreyfus Affair is Prisoners of Honor by David Levering Lewis. Good balance of popular history and dry scholarship, if memory serves.


Just watched "The Wild Geese" again last night. A lot of fun watching Burton and Harris trade snarky one-liners, not to mention splodey-splodey and one of the highest on-screen body counts ever.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at February 02, 2014 11:41 AM (aYjRw)

78 49 Are you working 'Without Remorse' in there? I guess that books comes before all of them.

Posted by: RWC at February 02, 2014 11:10 AM (9+w3c)


I skipped that one because I have it in hardback and I am trying to avoid getting the Kindle version of the ones I already have in hardback. The hardbacks are not as hard for me to read as the paperback.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 11:42 AM (T2V/1)

79 About 1/3 of the way through "The Way of the Seal" by Mark Divine. A leadership book from the guy who started SealFit.

Reading Divine's web site made me doubt the book because he came across a bit too slick and used a lot of jargon. Some of the reviews sound too good to be true -- IYKWIMAITYD.

However, I'm liking what I've read so far. Like some other SEALs, he makes the point that leadership is character rather than skill. He had his own failures of character that he had to overcome.

Here are two reviews that seem pretty accurate -- http://goo.gl/eyxYEJ and http://goo.gl/qlT17H

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:46 AM (TV2Em)

80 69
Vic, Amazon has one Thor book, Black List, for $3.99.

Posted by: NCKate at February 02, 2014 11:25 AM (Eed4A)


Thanks I just checked that. They also have two "free" now that are prequels to his last boom (I think). But his first novel is $8.99. Does it matter what order you read them in? I generally like to start at the beginning.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 11:52 AM (T2V/1)

81 Somebody mentioned Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy on a thread the other day. I looked it up on Amazon and it sounds interesting - like the "Name of the Rose," only set in 17th century England and featuring Isaac Newton, Samuel Pepys among the characters, but sheesh, I assumed it was 3 novels. Nope each part of the Trilogy consists of 3 (or maybe 4) books. That's a bit daunting. I guess I'll try book one and see how I like it.

I just started reading Bill Bryson's "One Summer, America 1927." I'm not far enough into it to give an opinion, but I've always enjoyed Bryson's books - I highly recommend his book "At Home: A Short History of Private Life."

Posted by: Donna V. at February 02, 2014 11:53 AM (R3gO3)

82 "Adultery of the Heart" writing about wimmenz issues is pretty funny. Will he have an appendix ranking the squeezes of dictators that the sanctimonious turd jacked it over?

Posted by: Captain Hate on an iPad at February 02, 2014 11:56 AM (yQyBg)

83 That should have been $8.06 for his first one, not 8.99

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 11:56 AM (T2V/1)

84 Thanks for the tip on Kindle First for Amazon Prime members, Vic. Just put "The Rented Mule" on my device.

And I chose "Long Knives", so here's another thanks for the tip. How did I not know about this before? I must have been a little too quick to hit the delete key when Amazon sent out the e-mail announcement.

What I'm reading: "Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait Of An Era In Twenty Objects" by Neil MacGregor, a moron recommendation on the book thread a few weeks back. It's a snapshot of the England Shakespeare knew using the 20 objects, one per chapter, as starting points for thumbnail histories a various aspects of Elizabethan life. I did not know there was a law against public discussion of who would succeed Elizabeth, and that this prohibition is one of the reasons Shakespeare chose the locales and eras he did for some of his plays, examination of current concerns by tangent. Recommended if you like history, particularly the QE I era.

Posted by: Retread at February 02, 2014 11:56 AM (cHwk5)

85 Re: 80 -- I've read Thor from the beginning, but he does make it easy to dive in anywhere. I'm a big fan.

One thing about Thor, Flynn, and Silva, they got better as they went along, unlike Eisler.

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:57 AM (TV2Em)

86 Haven't seen WTWTA but did see a video of Sendak's staging of Mozart's Magic Flute that was excellent.

Read 'A Canticle for Leibowitz' that's a classic dystopian novel, showing over a span of about 1200 years the destructive nature of Man through the eyes of clergy. Leibowitz is someone they know little about from their history but believe him to be a saint in their Catholic religion. It's a sad, depressing story but it was actually entertaining to read, it's very well written, has interesting characters and has some comic moments. I think Monty has said he reads it every few years.

Posted by: waelse1 at February 02, 2014 12:01 PM (x+P8L)

87 The book I'm just a couple dozen pages short of finishing is Theodore Dalrymple's 'The Wilder Shores of Marx: Journeys in a Vanishing World.'

(This was first published as 'Utopias Elsewhere: Journeys in a Vanishing World' under the author's actual name, Anthony Daniels, in 1991.)

Dalrymple spent much of 1989 and 1990 traveling around the world to communist nations in the wake of the Soviet collapse. The parallels to the America Obama and his ilk are seeking to create. Extending the dreariness of the projects to nearly all of the nation except the elites who prop up the regime.

Albania, Cuba, North Korea, Romania, and Vietnam are the destinations perused. Each is distinct yet all share numerous awful attributes that the followers of Marx inevitably inflict on their victims.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 12:03 PM (bPxS6)

88 85 One thing about Thor, Flynn, and Silva, they got better as they went along, unlike Eisler.

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 11:57 AM (TV2Em)


In that case I think I will download one of those "free" prequels and check it out. If it is good I will start at the beginning although I consider $8 a little pricey for a Kindle book, especially one that is over 11 years old.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 12:05 PM (T2V/1)

89 Pobedonostsev, page 8: "thus acted the sophist-philosophers... instead of the Adam of our Bibles, called to its cradle some unknown being, slowly developed from animal life, an ape at first, and then a man.... having degraded him to the limits of corruption, they changed their tone and began to glorify his greatness... but in the glory of this strange greatness man seemed crushed with grief. He had forsaken God but kept the need for religion."

then: "But what if it were true that man first sprang from an animal matter? in the book of Genesis man was made from a material baser still - mud and dust, a handful of earth."

Pobedonostsev, page 19: "the atheist state is no more than an impossible Utopia... Religion and above all Christianity is the source of every right in political and civil life, and of all true culture."

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at February 02, 2014 12:06 PM (b9CR7)

90 #81

It was three big doorstop volumes when I read it. They may have broken it up into smaller chunks for paperback.

A similar thing happened with Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy. It was three big volumes in its original publication but each volume was broken up into two paperbacks for the US publication, although I got the third one as a single hardback. Hamilton had become well known enough in the US to rate a hard back. Before then he was relatively unknown to US readers and mainly known as a short story writer in the UK.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 12:09 PM (bPxS6)

91 Argh, left an incomplete sentence due to being interrupted.

Dalrymple spent much of 1989 and 1990 traveling around the world to
communist nations in the wake of the Soviet collapse. The parallels to
the America Obama and his ilk are seeking to create are chilling. Extending the
dreariness of the projects to nearly all of the nation except the elites
who prop up the regime.

Dalrymple's insights into how these regimes suppress resistance are what really drives the book. He notes that the endemic shortages are not a bug but rather a feature as when daily life is a struggle for securing the most minor necessities, sparing any time and effort to getting rid of the oppressive regime becomes an impossibility. Think about that if you find yourself spending hours trying to get anything useful out of the healthcare.gov site.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 12:14 PM (bPxS6)

92 Re: 88 -- Vic, your library probably has some/all of Thor's books. Mine has all in paper, but not in e-books.

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 12:15 PM (TV2Em)

93 I'm currently working my way through _Going Clear_ by Lawrence Wright. It's about the rise and growth of Scientology.

Not an easy book to read, chiefly because just about everyone in it is so unpleasant. Hubbard was a greedy crackpot narcissist, his successors at the helm of the church are full-on psychopaths, and the marks who suffer their abuse and give them money are gullible and kind of pathetic.

It says something when L. Ron Hubbard is probably the nicest guy in the book.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 02, 2014 12:18 PM (SONPB)

94 92
Re: 88 -- Vic, your library probably has some/all of Thor's books. Mine has all in paper, but not in e-books.

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 12:15 PM (TV2Em)

OK they have a few now. I am positive I found none when I checked about 6 months ago. They do have that first one in paperback but it is out right now.


Next time I go into town I'll check out one of what ever is in and give it a try even if I do have to read out of order.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 12:27 PM (T2V/1)

95 Currently reading " The Lone Samurai:The Life of Miyamoto Musashi". First fact that I found very interesting is that this master of swordsmanship very rarely used anything but a wooden sword.

Posted by: Tuna at February 02, 2014 12:29 PM (M/TDA)

96 #93

Lawrence Wright is also the author of one of the best books about the origins of Al-qaeda, 'The Looming Tower.'

Highly recommended.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 12:30 PM (bPxS6)

97 84
Thanks for the recommendation. The Shakespeare book sounds like it is right up my alley.

Posted by: Tuna at February 02, 2014 12:32 PM (M/TDA)

98 71 years ago the last German unit surrendered at the Battle of Stalingrad. I've been re-reading Antony Beevor's "Stalingrad", and Timothy Synder's "Bloodlands".

Jeebus, the savagery and bloodshed on the Eastern Front was unreal.

Posted by: ExSnipe at February 02, 2014 12:34 PM (LKJt3)

99 Re: Wright's "Going Clear" -- wish my library had bought it. Not interested enough to buy myself.

I did read Janet Reitman's "Inside Scientology," cited by Wright, which I highly recommend.

Anyone read Deborah Blum's "The Poisoner's Handbook"? PBS had a good two-hour "American Experience" episode based on the book. Video can be watched free online in a browser or via Roku, etc.

Posted by: doug at February 02, 2014 12:39 PM (TV2Em)

100 Holy crap, we might make it to 100 comments today!

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 12:39 PM (fd0Pp)

101 Yay!

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 12:40 PM (fd0Pp)

102 Don't we normally make it way over 100?

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 12:41 PM (T2V/1)

103 Yeah, normally we do, but this has been a really slow day, for whatever reason.

I never can predict whether the book thread will take off or just sputter along.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 12:44 PM (fd0Pp)

104 I have 2 Samsung Galaxy tablets, the 10.1 and the 8 inch. Love my tablets. I never open my laptop anymore and if I fire up my desktop it's just to work on. I find that I can do everything with my tablets, just add the external keyboard and go. I also have a Nook HD just for reading books. No Apple or Kindle allowed.

Posted by: megthered at February 02, 2014 12:46 PM (iR4Dg)

105 103
I think it's sputtering today. Darn! Morons getting ready for Super Bowl parties perhaps?

Posted by: Tuna at February 02, 2014 12:49 PM (M/TDA)

106 Does anyone have a recommendation for a book on the history of Tsarist Russia?

Posted by: Adam at February 02, 2014 10:28 AM (Aif/5)


S.F. Platonov, History of Russia.
Nicholas Riasanovsky, A History of Russia
Bernard Pares, A History of Russia.

The last two go beyond 1917, but cover the period you are interested in. Platonov's work ends with the fall of the Provisional Government in November (our calendar) 1917. Pares is probably the most readable of the three.

Posted by: CQD at February 02, 2014 12:56 PM (d6iMX)

107 I think it's sputtering today. Darn! Morons getting ready for Super Bowl parties perhaps?

Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me. There's probably a bunch of reasons from week to week that limit (or boost) thread participation.

As long as we make it to 100, I'm satisfied.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 12:59 PM (fd0Pp)

108 Off to church & worship. See you all later, and thanks!

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 01:00 PM (fd0Pp)

109 In honor of the recent news of a cuneiform description of the 2x2 animal guy's boat, here's a selection from the oh so mysterious Urantia revelation.

(Hey, it's a book. Link in name. Jargon guide: 'Urantia' is the name of our planet. The Urantia Book is a collection of 120-some 'papers' written in the 1930s-40s, an elaborate mythos, a self-proclaimed revelation, first published in 1955. No known author, regardless of speculations.)

[blockquote]
The traditions of a time when water covered the whole of the earth’s surface are universal. Many races harbor the story of a world-wide flood some time during past ages. The Biblical story of Noah, the ark, and the flood is an invention of the Hebrew priesthood during the Babylonian captivity. There has never been a universal flood since life was established on Urantia. The only time the surface of the earth was completely covered by water was during those Archeozoic ages before the land had begun to appear.
[/blockquote]

There is elaboration elsewhere in the Urantia papers about those Hebrew priests' choices.

That many cultures had 'universal' floods is documented. That there was no universal flood in the last half-billion years is well understood scientifically, geologically substantiated and fundamentally irrefutable. Which, of course, is why the flood myth is a popular target of skeptics attacking Biblical Fundamentalism.

Neither the commonness of a flood myth nor the geologic refutation thereof was any kind of a 'revelation' at the time the Urantia papers were written. As usual in such egregiously unscientific legends, the Urantia papers side with science and the skeptics. One of numerous reasons some Biblical Fundamentalists proclaim the Urantia revelation is the work of El Diablo not Los Angeles.

So, as per usual, the Urantia papers give us well-understood refutation of a literal interpretation of a Biblical myth, with a little 'insider' knowledge thrown in, 'confirming' what some scholars had speculated prior to the Urantia papers, that the flood myth had been incorporated into Jewish scripture during the Babylonian captivity.

Other than the presumed authority of the author's superhuman perspective, it is really pretty dry stuff.

So they throw us some meat.

[blockquote]
(875.2) 78:7.5 But Noah really lived; he was a wine maker of Aram, a river settlement near Erech. He kept a written record of the days of the river’s rise from year to year. He brought much ridicule upon himself by going up and down the river valley advocating that all houses be built of wood, boat fashion, and that the family animals be put on board each night as the flood season approached. He would go to the neighboring river settlements every year and warn them that in so many days the floods would come. Finally a year came in which the annual floods were greatly augmented by unusually heavy rainfall so that the sudden rise of the waters wiped out the entire village; only Noah and his immediate family were saved in their houseboat.
[/blockquote]

No mention in the Urantia papers whether Noah's boat was round.

I have been trying to find where the tablet was found, but all I've seen was "Mesopotamia." Research continues....

Posted by: Guru Radd Radd Upanishadd (Smythe) at February 02, 2014 01:05 PM (cdYeu)

110 Never been able to stand store music. In Canada it seemed even louder than here. I just walk out and point up.

Posted by: bill sometimes bill from canada at February 02, 2014 01:08 PM (BdgZz)

111 I'd like to give a plug for John Gierach and his flyfishing books.(Keeps the politics out mostly.) Especially the earlty ones. More about the reasons for doing it than the how to. "Fishing is extremely time consuming, thats actually the point " Laughed out loud at one anecdote because we probably crossed paths during it years ago in Winnipeg. Has a new one out soon.

Posted by: bill sometimes bill from canada at February 02, 2014 01:19 PM (BdgZz)

112 14
Further off topic, we have started to get laptops at work with
Windows 8.1 THAT HAVE A TOUCH SCREEN. One of my minions that does IT
work for the office didn't like Windows 8, but with the touch screen
laptop, it's actually pretty nice. Windows 8.1, that is.


No, it's not.

I have one. The screen is a lint magnet. The keyboard is also a lint magnet (as well as various danders) and when you close the lid, some of that krep winds up on the screen.

So you're innocently doing things when you notice a big piece of lint on the screen blocking some pixels you're trying to see. What do you? You reach out to flick it off the screen.

But it's a touch screen.

So the computer does something.

Posted by: Anachronda at February 02, 2014 01:28 PM (U82Km)

113 47
Reflections by a Russian Statesman, by Konstantin Pobedonostsev. Should
be on every neo reactonary's Kindle. Unshakable autocracy, bitchez!


Smells like victory.

Posted by: Anachronda at February 02, 2014 01:33 PM (U82Km)

114 #112

Blow on the screen rather than touching it. Or use something non-conductive to wipe it.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 01:36 PM (bPxS6)

115 Thanks as always for the weekly book thread, Oregon Muse.


This week I attempted to read a book written by a lesbian author that purported to be about her spiritual journey from fundamentalist Christianity to "a gentler, more inclusive flavor of the Christian faith". I wanted to gain some insight into fellow believers who happen to be homosexuals.

I found that I could barely read past the preface and into the first chapter before setting it aside. The author, Kelly Barth, defined her Presbyterian upbringing as fundamentalist, which I guess might be barely true, if you stretch the definition of "fundamentalism" to a church that teaches basic Christian doctrine.

Then she lost me when she started sneering at her parents and their simple daily prayers, and admitted the "Christianity" she now follows denies the divinity of Christ, claims Joseph as the biological father of Jesus, denies His miracles, and doesn't believe He was raised from the dead.

???

Perhaps this distorted view of Christ and Christianity is why she titled her book "My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus". It's apparent she just decided to make up her own.

I will be returning the book to the library unread. Instead I will pick up the latest in the Lucas Davenport series by John Sandford, "Silken Prey". I hope he writes another Virgil Flowers novel soon. I love that f*n Flowers.

Posted by: grammie winger at February 02, 2014 01:36 PM (P6QsQ)

116 Concerning Urantia...


So I'm not following something here. If they stated that the story came from Babylon, then what's with the Noah was real bit?


And I can see from your nic that you know where the story of the flood comes from...

Posted by: HH at February 02, 2014 01:36 PM (XXwdv)

117 A few months ago, someone here recommended "Last Centurion" by John Ringo. So I mooched a copy off of bookmooch and finally read it. It's a keeper (certainly will not put it up on bookmooch to get rid off) and it now resting comfortably on my bookshelf with the Monster Hunter books. Now I need to read more by Ringo, but he has written lots of stuff. Any suggestions where to start next?

Posted by: Charlotte at February 02, 2014 01:52 PM (u1eI9)

118 #117

'A Hymn Before Battle' is the first in the numerous volumes of the Posleen War setting. Aliens warn Earth that voracious invaders are heading their way and they will help Earth out with technology. But the aliens have their own agenda and only want humans to keep the Posleen contained rather than truly win and become major players on the galactic stage themselves.

Posted by: Epobirs at February 02, 2014 02:14 PM (bPxS6)

119 I ordered Boorstin's Knowledge and American Trilogies. I just started The Discovers and am really liking it so far. From what I've read and what I've heard I'm looking forward to the rest.

I'm also reading Roughing It by Twain. This guy has some writing chops, he might go places.

Posted by: .87c at February 02, 2014 02:14 PM (qZPXs)

120 118
#117

'A Hymn Before Battle' is the first in the numerous volumes
of the Posleen War setting. Aliens warn Earth that voracious invaders
are heading their way and they will help Earth out with technology. But
the aliens have their own agenda and only want humans to keep the
Posleen contained rather than truly win and become major players on the
galactic stage themselves.

Thanks for the suggestion Epobirs!

Posted by: Charlotte at February 02, 2014 02:18 PM (u1eI9)

121 and admitted the "Christianity" she now follows denies the divinity of Christ..., denies His miracles, and doesn't believe He was raised from the dead.

Posted by: grammie winger at February 02, 2014 01:36 PM (P6QsQ)

Yet that is the opposite basis for Christianity. Ugh!

Posted by: ExSnipe at February 02, 2014 02:25 PM (LKJt3)

122 doug, I complained too. No dice. No change in grocery store blaring or movie theater concession stand blaring either.

Some places are paid by advertisers on these channels to blare it. Guess it's another source of income to make up for all the people who quit going because they can't stand the, er, channel they are blaring.

Posted by: PJ at February 02, 2014 02:40 PM (ZWaLo)

123 117 Now I need to read more by Ringo, but he has written lots of stuff. Any suggestions where to start next?


Posted by: Charlotte at February 02, 2014 01:52 PM (u1eI9)

I recommend trying the "There Will Be Dragons series. Also the legend of Aldenata (Posline raids) I also like the Ghost series but you probably wouldn't because it is borderline kinky porno.
John Ringo is one of the rare conservative SF authors and one of my favorites.

Posted by: Vic at February 02, 2014 02:45 PM (T2V/1)

124 Hi Grammie, hope you're having a blessed Lord's Day.

Then she lost me when she started sneering at her parents and their simple daily prayers, and admitted the "Christianity" she now follows denies the divinity of Christ, claims Joseph as the biological father of Jesus, denies His miracles, and doesn't believe He was raised from the dead.

Yeah, this sounds like one of those books that you could have predicted everything in it without having to read it.

So she's basically a Unitarian now. This is her big reveal?

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 03:55 PM (fd0Pp)

125 Late to the party as usual!

Here's what I'm reading:

SF: Kristine Katherine Rusch's "Diving the Wreck" series

Non-Fic: Gavin McInnes' very funny and very profane "The Death of Cool: From Teenage Rebellion to the Hangover of Adulthood"

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 02, 2014 04:16 PM (QBm1P)

126
124 Oregon Muse

I looked up her church online. It has the name Christian in its title, so not Initarian. However it does include in its intro that this is a church where "you can find your own theology." So I guess, a truth-in-advertising issues. Or if you prefer the wolves among the sheep.

I am still searching for some good books, biblically based, on homosexuals and the Christian church. My own local congregation has an emphasis on reaching out to people that might not normally seek out the Gospel. So I want to prepare my own heart a little more. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Posted by: grammie winger at February 02, 2014 04:21 PM (P6QsQ)

127 I looked up her church online. It has the name Christian in its title, so not Initarian.

Yeah, I know, I use 'Unitarian' as a catch-all descriptor for those churches that claim to be "Christian" yet deny pretty much every major historic Christian doctrine. They tend to carry the Unitarian labor, but not all of them do.

I am still searching for some good books, biblically based, on homosexuals and the Christian church. My own local congregation has an emphasis on reaching out to people that might not normally seek out the Gospel. So I want to prepare my own heart a little more. Any suggestions would be welcome.

I wish I had some suggestions for you. Unfortunately, I don't. Please let me know if you discover something good.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 04:52 PM (fd0Pp)

128 hello testing one two three

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 04:54 PM (JAD5c)

129 Reading 'Hymn Before Battle' I felt like I was in the second or third book of a series. Some charachters felt like they came with backstories I should have understood. Rereads felt much more solid.

I would reccommend the Prince Roger books from John Ringo and David Weber. Inspired by Xenophon with solid charachters and cool aliens, with nice incidental slams against ecofascists. What's not to like

Posted by: the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the truth at February 02, 2014 05:34 PM (52lgb)

130 Windows 8 for the pc is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. If it's made for tablets, why put it on a computer?

Posted by: Titanium at February 02, 2014 06:01 PM (IgOQg)

131 W8 is fine with a Start-Menu addon which can be had for $5.

Posted by: Anon at February 02, 2014 11:01 PM (DW4oN)

132 Holy crap. John Ringo's 'Hymn Before Battle' is available on Kindle for $0.00. Don't now how long this give-away will last (it's 8:15pm PST Sun. nite here), but I snapped it up immediately.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 11:15 PM (JAD5c)

133 132
Holy crap. John Ringo's 'Hymn Before Battle' is available on Kindle for
$0.00. Don't now how long this give-away will last (it's 8:15pm PST Sun.
nite here), but I snapped it up immediately.

Now I know what I am reading next... Thanks

Posted by: Charlotte at February 02, 2014 11:39 PM (u1eI9)

134
Latepost from OZ to this thread...

I'm reading "We Were Soldiers Once - and Young" by Lt.Gen. Hal Moore and a journo Joe Galloway - this book describes the Ia Drang battle in November 1965 - first big battle between UStroops and the North Vietnamese regular army

This was first published in 1992 so I'm very late in picking up a copy of this book - a fascinating read if you are interested in war history

Thanks Oregon Muse for this thread too - well done!

Posted by: aussie at February 03, 2014 12:07 AM (nP3cM)

135
This was first published in 1992 so I'm very late in picking up a copy of this book - a fascinating read if you are interested in war history

I have this book sitting on my nightstand, but I have yet to pick it up. Maybe I should. Thanks for the recommendation, aussie.

Posted by: OregonMuse at February 03, 2014 01:04 PM (JAD5c)

136 132 Holy crap. John Ringo's 'Hymn Before Battle' is available on Kindle for $0.00. Don't now how long this give-away will last (it's 8:15pm PST Sun. nite here), but I snapped it up immediately.
Posted by: OregonMuse at February 02, 2014 11:15 PM (JAD5c)

All free:

A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War #1)
Gust Front (Posleen War #2)
There Will be Dragons(The Council Wars #1)
Emerald Sea (The Council Wars #2)

Posted by: BornLib at February 03, 2014 08:16 PM (zpNwC)

137 129 I would reccommend the Prince Roger books from John Ringo and David Weber. Inspired by Xenophon with solid charachters and cool aliens, with nice incidental slams against ecofascists. What's not to like
Posted by: the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the truth at February 02, 2014 05:34 PM (52lgb)

Omnibus of the first two books just came out last month, "Empire of Man"

Posted by: BornLib at February 03, 2014 08:16 PM (zpNwC)

138 117 A few months ago, someone here recommended "Last Centurion" by John Ringo. So I mooched a copy off of bookmooch and finally read it. It's a keeper (certainly will not put it up on bookmooch to get rid off) and it now resting comfortably on my bookshelf with the Monster Hunter books. Now I need to read more by Ringo, but he has written lots of stuff. Any suggestions where to start next?
Posted by: Charlotte at February 02, 2014 01:52 PM (u1eI9)

For my part I'm a big fan of his Troy Rising series, which starts with "Live Free or Die"

Posted by: BornLib at February 03, 2014 08:22 PM (zpNwC)

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