November 30, 2014

Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-30-2014: City of Women [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


attack of the 50-foot woman.jpg
Does This Power Station Make Me Look Fat?


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus.


The Feminization of - Well, Everything

Last week, torquewrench posted an apt comment:

111 We allow a feminized educational system to force-feed [Margaret] Atwood, [Maya] Angelou, [Alice] Walker, et al. to teenaged boys.

Whose instincts at that age are are to be profoundly bored with emotive introspective feminista literature. They want action, adventure, bold canvases, far horizons, male protagonists: all the things these books do not have.

Then we're surprised and shocked to learn that we've turned off those boys to reading for the rest of their adult lives, to the considerable detriment of their cultural and educational prospects.

I've got one just like that in my extended family. Bright young man. But after the mandatory bland diet of lefty chick lit inflicted upon him by his teachers, I do not think he's ever going to take up the reading of substantive literature. Completely turned off to it. The radfem educrats took what should have been a fun voyage of discovery, and made it a grinding chore. As soon as he could get rid of that chore, he did, with evident relief.

To this I would add that fathers need to take a bigger role in the education of their sons (and daughters, too), instead of merely turning their kids over to the tender mercies of the public school system and forgetting about them.

But for a humorous take on this "men vs. women" phenomenon, read this article on a supposed high school writing assignment that went hilariously off the rails. And thanks to phoenixgirl, Taco Shack, and other morons who dug this up for me last week.

But serious you guys...

Everybody knows what's going on here: what torquewrench is reporting is just one of several fronts in modern feminism's ongoing and continuous war on men. But, even still, I don't think they came up with this themselves, I think they're just exploiting and inflaming a social condition that's actually been around for quite a while. I give, as evidence, the 1914 novel Penrod (and its sequels) by Booth Tarkington. The eponymous main character of these books, Penrod, is a young boy around 10-12 years of age, too old to be mama-clingy, but too young to be very much interested in girls. The primary authorities in his life are his mother, his 19-year old sister, and his (seemingly always female) school teachers. His father is there, too, sort of, but he's a minor character who remains in the background and has little or no influence on the events in his son's life, except when he is called upon to deliver a spanking, the infraction having being previously decided by the women. Penrod, being a boy, wants to do boy things, particularly, to retreat to his own private space to write western-themed action stories with plenty of guns, shooting and violence. But he can't do this because the female authority figures won't leave him alone; and indeed, have decided that he has to take dancing lessons, and wear a goofy-ass costume in a ridiculous school "pageant", etc. The novel depicts the continual tension between Penrod's developing masculinity and the feminine modes of thought and experience that form the boundaries of his life.

(As I'm writing this, I am reminded of a similar episode from a book whose title I forget, perhaps it was one of Ethelyn Parkinson's Rupert Piper books, wherein the Penrod-like main character is being used by his mother and older sister (or aunt) as a dressmaker's dummy so they can complete their sewing project. Of course some of the boy's friends happen by and see him wearing a dress, and hilarity ensues when he gets mad and chases them down the street, still in the dress, being pursued by his shrieking mother and sister. Perhaps when I first read this many years ago, I missed the symbolism of forcing the (male) main character into a dress by female authority figures.)

For a more academic treatment of how women are ruining everything (ha ha, the men are doing their part, too), I would suggest Ann Douglas's Feminization of American Culture which came out in 1977. I'm convinced feminism, like progressivism, is a Christian deviation or heresy, and this book aptly demonstrates it.

Moron Recommendations

Last week, moron 'A B' wrote:

190 OK, I have a book recommendation. Some software engineers may have heard of this book, but in my view it expresses conservative philosophy more succinctly than Hayek: Systemantics, by John Gall. Yes, a systems-theory book written by a pediatrician in the 70's. Trust me -- go read the reviews on Amazon. Go read the wikipedia page on him. This book has as much to say about big government and statism as any book on these lists. And it will make you a better software engineer as well. And it's hilarious.

There are actually three 'Systemantic' books, and that extra 'm' is not a typo. The first is Systemantics: How Systems Work and Especially How They Fail, which came out in 1977, next is Systemantics: The Underground Text of Systems Lore (1986), and finally, The Systems Bible in 2002. These are not 3 different books, rather, each one is a revision and expansion of the earlier ones. The last one has the advantage of being the only one available on Kindle, price $6.99.

From these books came the principle known as Gall's Law:

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

This explains why the Obamacare enrollment web sites were such unmitigated disasters. They tried to put together this massive system together from ground zero. Meanwhile, the Amazon order web sites, which started out small and grew over time, easily handle thousands of transactions per hour.

Also, communism and command/planned economies. I scarcely need to go into details here.

Also, surprisingly, talk radio. Anybody else remember 'Air America'? For those of you who aren't familiar with this debacle, a decade or so ago, liberals decided that they had finally had enough of conservative talk radio dominating the radio airwaves, and wanted a system of their own. So they got some funding and put together this monolithic, coast-to-coast, turn-key radio network, fully staffed and operational, and it failed miserably. Why? Well, low ratings for one, and a financial scandal certainly didn't help, but behind all those things, I think the biggest reason was that the brainiacs that conceived and implemented the nation-wide Air America radio network simply didn't understand that conservative talk radio didn't happen that way. CTR is not some pre-planned, masterminded and funded by the evil Richard Mellon Scaife the evil Koch Bros., coordinated-by-the-RNC effort, but rather each conservative radio guy with a national audience only has a national audience because he was successful in a local market. And coordinated? Yeah, right. Of course, leftists can't see this because that's not the way they do things, and that's not the way they think about things.

So yeah, I can see that systemantics has all kinds of applications.


So How About An Early Christmas Book?

In the spirit of Gregory MaGuire's Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West comes Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett, a story of remorse and redemption wherein the author

rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge’s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn’t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge?

Or had he?

I'm interested in this book because every time I see or reread Dickens' classic 'A Christmas Carol', I can't help but wonder how Marley got so bad that he lost his soul and by the time we're introduced to him, he is irretrievably damned.


Amazon Dead Tree Book Discount

With a promotional code of HOLIDAY30, you can get 30% off of any print book purchased from Amazon, up to $10. This offer is good until midnight PST tonight (Sunday). More details here.

Thanks to moron 'WannaBeAnglican' for the tip.


Books By Morons

While I've been sitting here flapping my gums, moron Gregory of Yardale has been writing books. He has just published the 10th of his Worlds Apart series, Eventide, now available on Kindle for $4.00.

Amazon blurb:

Badly damaged...Pegasus limps into the tiny Eventide star system; hoping to find food supplies and materials to repair its shattered systems.

Instead, they find a low-technology backwater colony called Eventide. Worse, the same alien busybodies that wreaked havoc on the colonies of Yronwode and Fallon are there also; preparing to mess with the Eventidian colonists as well. The Kariad try to "fix" human societies that don't measure up to their standards of equality and social justice, usually with disastrous consequences.

___________

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

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

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:07 AM | Comments (272)
Post contains 1629 words, total size 11 kb.

1 Tie a 2X4 to my ass.

Posted by: redenzo at November 30, 2014 04:04 AM (WCnJW)

2 THIS is why I come here every day.....

Posted by: goatexchange at November 30, 2014 04:06 AM (sYUHT)

3 That tower is a phallic symbol

Posted by: Penrod in drag at November 30, 2014 04:09 AM (WCnJW)

4 watts up with her dress? not appropriate for high-power work.

Posted by: goatexchange at November 30, 2014 04:10 AM (sYUHT)

5 Woohoo! Thanks for the plug!

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at November 30, 2014 04:13 AM (9y18Y)

6 I saw a review of this flic in Wired.

Posted by: goatexchange at November 30, 2014 04:14 AM (sYUHT)

7 I've just read and enjoyed the Leader of Battles stories by David Pilling.  Two novels so far, the first is about King Arthur's father, the second is about Artorius the warlord.  This is a magicless, post-Roman version of the tales, heavily leaning on Welsh versions of the story.  I have liked the contrast between those who lust for power and those who do not. 

Posted by: Graves at November 30, 2014 04:16 AM (3MEXB)

8 That high school assignment article was wonderful. Still laughing.

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 04:20 AM (I490A)

9 Thanks for the discount code, WannaBeAnglican! I just ordered a nifty book on uniforms of the Roman Empire. Saved seven bucks.

May a thousand camels pass through your village.

Posted by: Taro Tsujimoto at November 30, 2014 04:20 AM (4ckfx)

10 We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Posted by: freaked at November 30, 2014 04:21 AM (JdEZJ)

11 About 3/4 of the way through 'The Quick'. Not a bad read. I'm not into Goth..., but this is not so heavy handed that it isn't interesting.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 04:22 AM (vPh3W)

12 That line tower in the photo is so fake it hurts. Looks like a 12 year old made it.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 04:23 AM (vPh3W)

13 Got my English degree from one of the top liberal arts schools in the country. In four years, no Hemingway (misogynist) or Steinbeck (pro-Vietnam). Both Nobel winners when that still meant something. But plenty of Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and Leslie Marmon Silko. To say nothing of more Brontes and Austen than any human being, male or female, should have to bear. And that was 20-some years ago.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 04:24 AM (yxw0r)

14 Speaking of camels I mentioned "The River War" by Churchill a few weeks ago and saw yesterday you can get it free on Gutenburg. If you are interested in that kind of thing.

Posted by: freaked at November 30, 2014 04:25 AM (JdEZJ)

15 No half measures: give your boys Robert E. Howard books, Rudyard Kipling books, and H. Rider Haggard books to read. Treasure Island with the Wyeth illustrations. Give them the biography of Churchill, the memoirs of Theodore Roosevelt. In short: books by men, about men. (Notice, by the way, how that last phrase of mine probably awakens some giggly gay joke thoughts in the back of your head. That's one of the most insidious things they've done: masculinity is now forcibly identified with its opposite, effeminacy. Thanks to bogus Freudian psychology, a masculine man with masculine interests is assumed to be "overcompensating." The only men whose masculinity cannot be questioned are drag queens, because they are "comfortable in their sexuality" whatever that means. One hates to be paranoid, but really, if there was a conscious plot to undermine the very idea of manhood, how would it be different?)

Posted by: Trimegistus at November 30, 2014 04:26 AM (RNKJH)

16 That's what's great about cheesy movies Mike. The cheese.

Posted by: freaked at November 30, 2014 04:26 AM (JdEZJ)

17 Currently reading the Baen anthology about fantasy warriors and soldiers "Shattered Shields" which has a host of cool authors in it including Larry Correia and Sarah Hoyt. I'm through the first three stories and they have all been great, even Seanan McGuire's.

Posted by: BornLib at November 30, 2014 04:27 AM (zpNwC)

18 I had to read Flowers For Algernon when I was in school. Didn't hurt me too bad because I counteracted it with Mad Magazine.

Posted by: freaked at November 30, 2014 04:30 AM (JdEZJ)

19 I liked Flowers For Algernon myself.

Posted by: BornLib at November 30, 2014 04:31 AM (zpNwC)

20 I've got one just like that in my extended family. Bright young man. But after the mandatory bland diet of lefty chick lit inflicted upon him by his teachers, I do not think he's ever going to take up the reading of substantive literature. Completely turned off to it. The radfem educrats took what should have been a fun voyage of discovery, and made it a grinding chore. As soon as he could get rid of that chore, he did, with evident relief. This really is a great comment. I was talking to my husband about this yesterday, as I was trying to come to grips with how can kids balance social media, the web, etc with how we grew up -- away from so many devices and non-attention to the world at large. Even though there were video games, tv, etc, we both grew up in a family where we actively participated in sports, were always "outside" playing versus indoors, and read books a lot. We both read books because we loved to read. It was natural, and not forced. I ate through books my entire life but never found it "odd." It was just normal to read. Same for him. Because the books we chose were engaging, but also the books assigned to us at school were also engaging. But, then, my parents wouldn't allow all of the tv watching we witness today. No tv's in our bedrooms. One of my brother's continued this with his kids. They rarely put the TV on. Even though I've gone Kindle to read, I am always reading something to this day, or several books at once. If you're not exposed early, to a wide range, you may never settle comfortably into reading. It will just become a chore.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 04:31 AM (IXrOn)

21 Synopsis stupid guy gets smart and then stupid again.

Posted by: freaked at November 30, 2014 04:31 AM (JdEZJ)

22 I've read about 20 percent of Sharyl Attkison's "Stonewalled" and am quite pleased with it. Like Bernard Goldberg, she isn't very impressed by the state of journalism today, but she frames her arguments less politically and more professionally than Goldberg. Neither dry nor polemic, but consistently readable. Attkison makes the case for non-partisan, unbiased reporting of the sort that the MSM claims they are doing, but clearly are not doing. In this, I think she is wrong. Today's narcissistic celebrity reporters can't separate their biases from their work, nor do they want to. I think Mark Steyn is right that the British model of competing, openly biased news sources is the better bet. Notwithstanding that, Attkison's book is both entertaining and thought provoking. *** OT - For anyone interested in "Americana" music, PBS has a gem of a program you can stream free. Program description/artist lineup -- http://bit.ly/1HOJ19J and online video -- http://to.pbs.org/15eJ93m

Posted by: doug at November 30, 2014 04:34 AM (p45Lb)

23 I do not even think this wave of hatred that many women (and men) have of themselves should be called "feminism." It just doesn't fit anymore. I really don't know what you call it, but it is more self-loathing and jealousy than anything I have ever seen.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 04:34 AM (IXrOn)

24 I'm also reading "FREEDOM!" by voluntaryist Adam Kokesh which about how those in power bullshit us into going along with and even cheering for our own enslavement.

Posted by: BornLib at November 30, 2014 04:34 AM (zpNwC)

25 My almost HSer daughter needs to expand her vocabulary. She likes reading action books, her latest series was The Maze Runner. I told her that classics use a wider vocabulary and that she should try some fun ones like Sherlock Holmes. Any other suggestions?

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 04:34 AM (LAWKT)

26 I just finished reading Michael Swanwick's fantasy novel _The Dragons of Babel_. It's set in the same grungy-industrial-fairyland world of his earlier novel _The Iron Dragon's Daughter_, but isn't a sequel as far as I know. It's a pretty good story in a fascinating setting. Political interlude: I'm 99% sure that Swanwick is a standard Baby Boomer author liberal -- but I had no trouble reading this book because deep down we actually do want the same things. It's one thing for a book to point out social ills (even as allegory); it's another to demonize and accuse. This book does not do that. Moreover, it's explicitly stated that the solution to the world's problems is not to kick over the anthill, or try to build some imaginary utopia on a pile of skulls. The world is the world, and we must live in it, and you can do more good simply by being good than by being a do-gooder. Swanwick's a liberal, but he's deeply sane.

Posted by: Trimegistus at November 30, 2014 04:36 AM (RNKJH)

27 Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 09:31 AM (IXrOn
)


Just to add to that, as I also grew up that way, is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to their children is reading to them. My mom used to read poems to us out of illustrated books and I loved it.



Of course one of our favorites was "Little Orphan Annie", but still...

Posted by: HH at November 30, 2014 04:37 AM (Ce4DF)

28 Back when I was in second grade, in the late neolithic, they had just started screwing up reading classes.  I remember looking at a list of vocabulary words and they meant nothing to me.  I might have been absent when they were assigned or something.  The teacher saw I was in dire need and came over for coaching.  The problem was, the only tool in her box was to tell me to look at the shape of the word.  Since that did no good at all, she was only able to repeat this to my increasing frustration.  Once we established that the schools were already hopelessly ineffective, my parents taught me to read using phonics.  After that I read voraciously, but with the exception of Macbeth and Julius Caesar, everything they ever assigned in literature classes was garbage.  I would just take whatever book I had on me when I had to do a book report before the class.  I began telling people that it was as if they were trying to teach the students to hate reading.  In the decades since, I've come to believe it was literally true. 

Posted by: Graves at November 30, 2014 04:40 AM (3MEXB)

29 But for a humorous take on this "men vs. women" phenomenon, read this article on a supposed high school writing assignment that went hilariously off the rails. And thanks to phoenixgirl, Taco Shack, and other morons who dug this up for me last week. Yes, this was funny!

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 04:43 AM (IXrOn)

30 25 My almost HSer daughter needs to expand her vocabulary. She likes reading action books, her latest series was The Maze Runner. I told her that classics use a wider vocabulary and that she should try some fun ones like Sherlock Holmes. Any other suggestions? Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 09:34 AM (LAWKT) Tolkien? Poe? Hugo?

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 04:44 AM (yxw0r)

31 BUT WHO IS CHAI?!!

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 04:44 AM (IXrOn)

32 columns like this make me happy I grew up a brat overseas; no real tv only FEN. Only really comic books and radio to entertain myself. I learned to enjoy reading and to seek out the things that interested me.

Posted by: he's a reader at November 30, 2014 04:44 AM (vdIxv)

33 Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 09:24 AM (yxw0r)

20 years ago....that was when the destruction of the Western Canon really took off.

I'm 10 years older, and had profs who gushed about Shakespeare!

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 04:45 AM (Zu3d9)

34 Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 09:34 AM (LAWKT)

Kipling, with the added benefit of an introduction to colonial India.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 04:48 AM (Zu3d9)

35 Tolkien? Poe? Hugo? == She's read The Hobbit, but TLOTR was too densely written for her I think. I think Hugo might also be too old peopleish I love Poe, and my older kid (her sister) actually wrote a very creepy short story for class for their Poe assignment that got voted most Poe-esqe by her classmates. I don't know if the younger kid is quite ready for Poe yet, but that reminds me that HG Wells short stories might be fun for her.

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 04:49 AM (2UV9s)

36 20 years ago....that was when the destruction of the Western Canon really took off. I'm 10 years older, and had profs who gushed about Shakespeare! Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 09:45 AM (Zu3d9) I just realized that had I not taken courses devoted to specific authors (Shakespeare, Milton, Hawthorne/Melville), I'd swear 75% of all English literature was written by women. You're right...I think that time period was when Stanford famously got rid of its Dead White Male requirements, for example.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 04:53 AM (yxw0r)

37 So... What would we recommend as books or stories for boys to read to escape the oppressive Harpies' claws of modern feminism? I'll start the list -- "The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", by Mark Twain "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", by Mark Twain "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", by Mark Twain "Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption", by Stephen King "The Body", by Stephen King

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) [/i][/u][/s] at November 30, 2014 04:53 AM (GQnRa)

38 A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system. Which has lots of implications for the Space Launch System, none of them good.

Posted by: rickl at November 30, 2014 04:53 AM (sdi6R)

39 high school writing assignment When read that I had to send the link to my son. That is the kind of writing he is good at.

Posted by: Cicero Skip at November 30, 2014 04:55 AM (FIrEF)

40 I'll never forget the wrath my late Mom unleashed on the "librarian" who ran the Bookmobile that frequented my 4th grade school. I'd tried to check out Guadalcanal Diary, and the "librarian" objected, because I stumbled over a word or two, having never seen them before. She wouldn't let me take the book. The following week, my Mom appeared, and closed the door to the Bookmobile behind her when she boarded the bus. We couldn't hear what was said therein, but we could hear that it was being said!, and that with much force, volume and passion. And it wasn't the Librarian whom we were hearing. Needless to say, I never had a problem with my selections from that point onward. And yes, kids need to, and benefit from, reading a book "above" their present level. It's how one advances to that next level, in the first place! I've no doubt these four decades later, that the "librarian" was just a left-wing, anti-war olde biddy, who didn't want my eyes sullied with a horrible book about war. Ignorant troll, what I'd already read to that point would have curdled the milk in her tea for all of eternity. Jim Sunk New Dawn Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim at November 30, 2014 04:56 AM (RzZOc)

41 Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 09:34 AM (LAWKT)

How about Ambrose Bierce?

His creepy stuff is excellent, but not too dense.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 04:56 AM (Zu3d9)

42 Thanks to a grandfather with a house littered with books intended to tempt young boys, I've read Penrod. I have to say though, I prefer 'Peck's Bad Boy' which was written in the late 1890's. He is much more male, not in the 'Incredible Hulk Smash! sense, but in a boy's view of the world. I just found him on line free: here's the first paragraph of the first chapter. I will do the link in a separate post since this :@($:;/! iPad will eat this post if I move away from this page to cut and paste again. "A young fellow who is pretty smart on general principles, and who is always in good humor, went into a store the other morning limping and seemed to be broke up generally. The proprietor asked him if he wouldn't sit down, and he said he couldn't very well, as his back was lame. He seemed discouraged, and the proprietor asked him what was the matter. "Well," says he, as he put his hand on his pistol pocket and groaned, "There is no encouragement for a boy to have any fun nowadays. If a boy tries to play an innocent joke he gets kicked all over the house." The store keeper asked him what had happened to disturb his hilarity. He said he had played a joke on his father and had been limping ever since."

Posted by: Lokki at November 30, 2014 04:57 AM (a5F9g)

43 I became a naturalized citizen a few years ago (next to the birth of my daughter, the happiest day of my life) but never really delved into the Constituiton, other than a cursory read to pass the exam. To remedy that, I am reading 'The words we live by' (Linda Monk) and The Federalist Papers. And I'm blown away by the wisdom of the Framers.

Posted by: IC at November 30, 2014 04:57 AM (0gm5y)

44 28 Ah, a "whole language" casualty. Thank goodness your parents stepped in with phonics; so many parents either don't care to or think that the teachers must know what they're doing. How people---genuinely well-meaning people---got into the bizarre whole language idea is fascinating to me.

Posted by: Jenny Hates Her Phone at November 30, 2014 04:58 AM (ZXKWI)

45 25 My almost HSer daughter needs to expand her vocabulary. She likes reading action books, her latest series was The Maze Runner. I told her that classics use a wider vocabulary and that she should try some fun ones like Sherlock Holmes. Any other suggestions? Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 09:34 AM (LAWKT) How about Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom and Tarzan novels?

Posted by: BornLib at November 30, 2014 04:58 AM (zpNwC)

46 Peck's Bad Boy -worth an hour or two http://www.readbookonline.net/read/32610/69240/ "You see, I thought the old man was a little spry. You know he is no spring chicken yourself; and though his eyes are not what they used to be, yet he can see a pretty girl further than I can. The other day I wrote a note in a fine hand and addressed it to him, asking him to meet me on the corner of Wisconsin and Milwaukee streets, at 7:30 on Saturday evening, and signed the name of 'Daisy' to it. At supper time Pa he was all shaved up and had his hair plastered over the bald spot, and he got on some clean cuffs, and said he was going to the Consistory to initiate some candidates from the country, and he might not be in till late. He didn't eat much supper, and hurried off with my umbrella. I winked at Ma but didn't say anything. At 7:30 I went down town and he was standing there by the post-office corner, in a dark place. I went by him and said, "Hello, Pa, what are you doing there?" He said he was waiting for a man. I went down street and pretty soon I went up on the other corner by Chapman's and he was standing there. You see, he didn't know what corner "Daisy" was going to be on, and had to cover all four corners.

Posted by: Lokki at November 30, 2014 04:58 AM (a5F9g)

47 Posted by: Jim at November 30, 2014 09:56 AM (RzZOc)

I had a slightly different experience...

I would cut class because oh my God, that shit was boring, and go to the library to read.

The librarian knew quite well where I should have been, but probably felt that any kid who came to the library on his own volition wasn't going to be a problem.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 04:59 AM (Zu3d9)

48 And I'm blown away by the wisdom of the Framers. I think that a lot of leftys would be blown away if they read that

Posted by: Cicero Skip at November 30, 2014 05:00 AM (FIrEF)

49 never had a TV until I was in grade 7 ... so everyone in the family read. We had a competition (gasp!!!) in grade 6 (1960) on reading, and there was no definition of "good" vs "bad" books. Since my weekly trek to the library always included the maximum number of checkouts ... I think my line(s) on the wall chart were at least 3x the closest competitor. And we always were checked on whether we'd actually read them. The only obstacle I have to reading, now that I'm retired and have time, is this blog ... spend way too much time lurking!

Posted by: WingNut at November 30, 2014 05:01 AM (A4AYO)

50 "...the teachers must know what they're doing."

Posted by: Jenny Hates Her Phone at November 30, 2014 09:58 AM (ZXKWI)

Heh....

My default assumption (rarely proven false) was exactly the opposite.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 05:01 AM (Zu3d9)

51 Whenever I'm asked, I always recommend Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. Years ago I read a comment by Gene Roddenberry on the inspiration for Star trek. He said he enjoyed the Hornblower novels because Hornblower was a man with twentieth-century sensibilities in the 19th century world. The O'Brian novels are more interesting to me because they present authentically 19th century characters (Aubrey might be more 18th century). I don't need to read about characters with modern mindsets. It's fascinating to read about people who think in different ways. And they're great reads for boys with new words and terms to challenge them and the thoughtful exploration of virtues that ought to be timeless.

Posted by: Curate at November 30, 2014 05:03 AM (tjqJy)

52

What would we recommend as books or stories for boys to read to escape the oppressive Harpies' claws of modern feminism?

 

The James Bond 007 series by Ian Fleming

 

anything by Alistair MacLean

 

anything by C.S. Forester

 

anything by Jack London

Posted by: Count de Monet, Person of Pallor at November 30, 2014 05:03 AM (JO9+V)

53 Some good, thoughtful picks today, OM. Thank you! I'm reading The Magicians right now and liking it. I'm going to get the series for my daughter for Christmas if the trilogy is decent.

Posted by: Dollar Store, Sock, etc. at November 30, 2014 05:05 AM (c+gwp)

54 I told her that classics use a wider vocabulary and that she should try some fun ones like Sherlock Holmes. Any other suggestions? HG Wells, all of the early Asimov, ER Burroughs. I'd also recommend Louis L'Amour - although he did get quite formulaic, his panoramas are awesome, and you certainly get a different flavor of the old west than the crappy western movies.

Posted by: WingNut at November 30, 2014 05:05 AM (A4AYO)

55 I've only read Jack London's short stories, where his hardcore Marxism shines through. Are his novels better in this regard?

Posted by: BornLib at November 30, 2014 05:07 AM (zpNwC)

56 To continue the list -- "USFS 1919: The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky", by Norman Maclean "The Lensman Series", by E. E ."Doc" Smith "Snow Crash", by Neal Stephenson "Cryptonomicon", by Neal Stephenson "Startide Rising", by David Brin "The Uplift War", by David Brin "Ender's Game", by Orson Scott Card

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) [/i][/u][/s] at November 30, 2014 05:08 AM (GQnRa)

57 My kids were put on the quota system of reading: x number of pages every day, and the reading log must be signed by the parents or it doesn't count toward your grade. They made reading a chore instead of a pleasure. My kids loved to read when they entered school: it only took the school district four short years to burn that out of them.

We have always had about hundreds and hundreds of books in the house, and my wife and I are constant readers. (Hell, I even read this blog.) By that we were able to eventually overcome the school-induced handicap. It took a few years, and we're still working on it. But they have even requested this or that book for a birthday or Christmas present, so there is progress. Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: Git off my lawn, or at least mow it at November 30, 2014 05:08 AM (TqyFL)

58 I used to recommend Alistair MacLean as well, I have everything he wrote in my hardcover collection. BUT, I lost my enthusiasm for him when he visited the town I was living in and based a book on that visit. Athabasca was one of his typical thrillers, but the action is the book was so far away from reality that I was everafter disappointed in him.

Posted by: WingNut at November 30, 2014 05:09 AM (A4AYO)

59 Wow I woke up in time for the book thread.  One wonders if A Christmas Story is available on Gutenberg

Posted by: Vic[/i] at November 30, 2014 05:09 AM (u9gzs)

60 Votermom:  It depends on what she likes.  I always suggest H. Beam Piper, Heinlein, and Terry Pratchett.  Then try the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series by Fritz Leiber, or Roughing It and Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, there is a collected letters of Abraham Lincoln on the Gutenberg site (a complex man who also was at heart a poet, I think) and the Memoirs of Phil Sheridan by Phil Sheridan.
If any of those take, she will start sniffing out stuff on her own. 

Posted by: kindltot at November 30, 2014 05:11 AM (t//F+)

61 Do not overlook Heinlein juveniles for children, he had an amazing ability to painlessly insert learning.  Burroughs has value, but keep in mind that he included a lot of cutting edge thought of his day, like eugenics.  This requires discussion with children and those adults who rely on mainstream education and media for their knowledge. 

Look seriously at Red Planet or Citizen of the Galaxy for teenagers. 

Posted by: Graves at November 30, 2014 05:11 AM (3MEXB)

62 Don't know if they still teach real history in high school, but I would recommend biographies of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great for boys which are incredible adventure stories. In both cases I would go with Philip Freeman--easy to read with a great sense of narrative. Fine for adults as well.

Posted by: Libra at November 30, 2014 05:11 AM (GblmV)

63 By the way, any decent biography of Samuel Clemens / Nark Twain will reveal how he struggled with the pernicious influences of his wife and daughters to write "nicer" and "more refined" works than the earthy and rambunctious works for which he is best remembered today. Even a great author in an earlier time had to fight against over-feminization.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) [/i][/u][/s] at November 30, 2014 05:12 AM (GQnRa)

64 Read Black Is The New Black (Black #3) by Russell Blake, another entertaining entry by Black Investigations, this time involving the world of modeling. Bit more serious and less comedic than #2, still a fun ride. Sadly down to just one more in the series, will have to check out other books by Blake. Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 09:49 AM (2UV9s) Maybe Pride And Prejudice, or if she's up for it Pride And Prejudice And Zombies?

Posted by: waelse1 at November 30, 2014 05:12 AM (8852O)

65 What would we recommend as books or stories for boys to read to escape the oppressive Harpies' claws of modern feminism?

I really don't think you can do better than the Flashman books.  Not only do they inculcate a love of reading, they teach a great deal of history as well.  It's true that some boys may draw unintended lessons about Flashman's behavior, and there is a bit of sex, but it isn't as if that's something 13 year old boys aren't doing independent research on anyway.

Posted by: pep at November 30, 2014 05:13 AM (4nR9/)

66 The pig on the plane.

Funny on the surface.  Mortal in its meaning and effect.

Radical liberals are engaged in an unrelenting attack on civilization.  In a perfect application of Sun Tzu's Art of War, they constantly probe the limits and defenses of civilized, polite society to identify the places where it has become too lazy and sclerotic to even defend itself. ("Rouse him and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity.  Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.")

The woman was made to de-plane, not because she brought a pig on the plane -- after all, she had already been allowed to do THAT -- but because her pig was not sufficiently well-behaved at that moment; as if a pig on a plane can ever be anything but ill-behaved.

This woman will be back. Next time she will be better educated and so will know what to say to get the flight crew to back down. She will bring a copy of the airlines own rules and demand the flight crew abide by them. (Alinsky Rule #4).

In the end, the pig will fly and decent, civilized people will learn to fly with pigs.

And civilized society will die by another inch.


Posted by: Ed at November 30, 2014 05:14 AM (4HYng)

67 Unbroken would be a good book for boys. Currently 2.99 for kindle.

Posted by: NCKate at November 30, 2014 05:15 AM (21zgd)

68 56 To continue the list -- "Endurance", the true story of Shackleton's Antarctic "adventure" right now I'm reading "Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick...very interesting

Posted by: he's a reader at November 30, 2014 05:15 AM (vdIxv)

69 I'm reading The Magicians right now and liking it. I'm going to get the series for my daughter for Christmas if the trilogy is decent. Posted by: Dollar Store, Sock, etc. at November 30, 2014 10:05 AM (c+gwp) -------- I'm reading The magician King (book 2 in the series) and it's even better than the first, I think.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at November 30, 2014 05:15 AM (QBm1P)

70 The Gods of the Copybook Headings laugh at the notion that Maya Angelou is an "author".

Posted by: Last of the Androsphinx at November 30, 2014 05:16 AM (jAyhy)

71 In the end, the pig will fly and decent, civilized people will learn to fly with pigs.

I'm not sure the pig isn't preferable to some of the people I've had sitting next to me on planes.

Posted by: pep at November 30, 2014 05:16 AM (4nR9/)

72 Morning 'rons ... totally exhausted between sorting out Thanksgiving, wrapping up the Christmas shopping (before another weekend market event next week) - so, not been reading adventurously. All hail Amazon, though - for a kindle version of Charles MacKay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Which I had never read, although having heard much about it, and something of some events covered. It's a fascinating read, and for me, rather an easy one, or maybe I have just been marinated in the Victorian style in writing. It's on my kindle, and since I will be sitting at a book table for most of next Saturday, likely I will finish it then. If any 'rons and 'ronettes are anywhere near Goliad, Texas, on Saturday, come on down to Christmas on the Square, where Santa arrives riding on a long-horn steer. I'll be in Miss Ruby's Author Corral, with a stack of Lone Star Sons ... which I have deliberately written to appeal to adventurous boys of all ages...

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at November 30, 2014 05:16 AM (95iDF)

73 "anything by Alistair MacLean"


No kidding. And his first novel, "HMS Ulysses" would make a hell of a movie, even today.


Growing up, I went through a ton of books. The Tarzan, Barsoom, Bond, Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes, all the series. you name it. Not to mention comic books, and one of my all time favorite magazines "Famous Monsters of Filmland". But yet always outside also, playing with my friends.


Now that I think about it, how did I have so much time for all of that?

Posted by: HH at November 30, 2014 05:16 AM (Ce4DF)

74 Mutiny on the Bounty
Two Years Before the Mast

Posted by: pep at November 30, 2014 05:17 AM (4nR9/)

75 Heinlein is good [most of it] for younger readers too, as well as other sci fi from the golden age, before the editors and publishers got preachy. Ray Bradbury, Zelazny's "Amber" books (2 sets of 5), and Ted Sturgeon's short stories are all notable for their language, as well as an enquiring mindset that is helpful for boys to be around.

Posted by: Piercello at November 30, 2014 05:17 AM (JybVy)

76 Anything by Arthur C. Clarke.

Posted by: pep at November 30, 2014 05:18 AM (4nR9/)

77 Hi rons, I hope everyone is well. I have immersed myself in writing as of late, 35K words into the third Novel, Amy Lynn, the Lady of Castle Dunn. My Editor is not finished with Golden Angel. I'm really hoping it comes out before Christmas, if not? Oh well. This Novel writing stuff is a pain. It isn't the writing, it's what comes afterword. Editing Editing Editing, it never seems to stop. If you haven't read the first one, it's available on Amazon for .99 until the second one comes out. It's the foundation book simply titled Amy Lynn, by Jack July. I guess I'm late to the party but my kids got me hooked on the Hunger Games trilogy. Holy crap, it's awesome, I never knew. Anyway, I hope everyone is healthy and happy. Back to writing, Later.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:18 AM (M8AJc)

78 While chaperoning a High School Band trip, I got into a discussion with a couple of the students - they asked my why are they never assigned 'happy books'? Everything in the course literature, while not feminista, was introspective, moody, ponderous. While some of it was Great Literature (yes, it was) the teachers seemed to have forgotten that some of their students are just barely teenagers, who cannot yet marvel at Ivan Denisovich.

Posted by: Git off my lawn, or at least mow it at November 30, 2014 05:18 AM (TqyFL)

79 An obscure male-juvenile classic is "Trouble on Titan," written by a doctor who also penned most of those "So You Want To Be A ___" booklets we used to get. Once in a while you still run across the Hardy Boys' competitors, who were once legion. I'm partial to the "Motorcycle Chums" series, Dan Dunn Secret Operative #48 (he once boarded the Zeppelin of Doom), and "The X-Bar-X Boys." Manly stuff.

We have often discussed Robb White, who wrote submarine and sunken treasure stories ("Secret Sea" and "Up Periscope") and had a life to match them.

I'm pleased to see that I'm not the only one who remembers Anne Douglas's "Feminization." She fancied herself, at the time, a radical feminist, but that doesn't really show through until the final, rather apologetic, epilogue, which seems tacked-on. It's a road map of the birth of US left-liberalism, and spot-on. Have you ever used "antidisestablishmentarianism" in a sentence? It's in there.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at November 30, 2014 05:20 AM (LDGeY)

80 Everything in the course literature, while not feminista, was introspective, moody, ponderous.

I would argue that books like Catcher in the Rye are, in fact, feminist books.  They're full of endless self-absorbed emoting and narcissistic navel-gazing. 

Posted by: pep at November 30, 2014 05:20 AM (4nR9/)

81 55 I've only read Jack London's short stories, where his hardcore Marxism shines through. Are his novels better in this regard? Posted by: BornLib at November 30, 2014 10:07 AM (zpNwC) In his defense, he recanted the socialism, eventually. 'Course, by that time, he was regularly winning fifth-guzzling contests at the Bohemian Grove.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 05:21 AM (yxw0r)

82 And of course I forgot Eric Frank Russell.  Deeply insightful and equally subversive against all authority.

Posted by: kindltot at November 30, 2014 05:21 AM (t//F+)

83 @38 Space Launch System Corporate welfare plus pork for Huntsville, Houston, and Cape Canaveral. Congress critters value "constituent service" (keeping the rice bowls full) to ensure campaign contributions and re-election. Orbital Sciences were told the the Russian turbos were highly risky, but they still are going to get partial payment for the failed launch of Antares/Cygnus. Brainiacs... not! Not completely free enterprise, but SpaceX is the best of the lot.

Posted by: doug at November 30, 2014 05:23 AM (p45Lb)

84 Oooh, I've got such a clue.

Posted by: The Hardly Boys [/i] [/b] at November 30, 2014 05:24 AM (jAyhy)

85 Speaking of reading difficult books, true story... (DRINK!) So, back in high school I would read a huge number of books, and I often spent lunch sitting in the classroom of one of the English teachers, Mrs. Sacca, and talking about what I'd read. So after I graduated Mrs. Sacca started a program called the Alex Program that paired students with adults in the community to read books and discuss them. She was inspired by the way that she had to try and keep up with me. Fast forward a few years later. My mother is talking to some insufferable woman who is going on and on about her son and how smart he is. Since the woman's son goes to my old HS, my mother mentions that I went there as well, and the woman starts to talk about all the programs that her son is in and finally says, "and he's in the Alex Program. Was your son in the Alex Program?" My mother looks her in the eyes and says, "My son was the Alex Program."

Posted by: Colorado Alex at November 30, 2014 05:24 AM (POJ1i)

86

I saw Wicked! at the Kennedy Center on its first tour (with Idina Menzell!  spectacular!), and enjoyed it immensely, and went out to get the book for further enjoyment.

 

I dutifully read it through to the pointless boring bitter end, and was even more impressed with the musical's ability to have crafted a cohesive and entertaining product from so much masturbatory dreck.

 

Did a little research on the author, and found why it was so awful:  it was a thought experiment by a gay author in reimaging the classic as an "otherizing" exercise, and how it feels and how we all shouldn't do that.  I needn't spend time or money pretending I'm engaging in literature to experience that--all I have to do is keep up with the LGBT-version of "witchwind" for free.

 

I didn't bother to check out any of the other 5-10 lb books in the series.

Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 05:24 AM (Sq/lh)

87 Posted by: Git off my lawn, or at least mow it at November 30, 2014 10:18 AM (TqyFL) Back when I taught Middle School, I wanted my kids to read what they wanted to read as long as it was a chapter book. Once they find the magic in books, it was hard to turn some of them off. My greatest pride as a teacher was seeing kids sitting in the Cafeteria reading. It was a Teacher that sparked me. Mrs Johnson, sixth grade, gave me a copy of Scott O'dell's the Island of the blue Dolphin. It was the first time an adult trusted me with their property, it was her book. Then came Mig Pilot. Mig Pilot solidified my politics at thirteen years of age. I will never forget it.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:25 AM (M8AJc)

88 Loving to read was pushed by my elementary and secondary schools as well as by my parents. Both parents were readers. What a gift, both for pleasure and utility.

Posted by: doug at November 30, 2014 05:25 AM (p45Lb)

89 My mother looks her in the eyes and says, "My son was the Alex Program." Posted by: Colorado Alex at November 30, 2014 10:24 AM (POJ1i) That's awesome.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:26 AM (M8AJc)

90 My 12 year old son just finished Gone With the Wind and is starting The Count of Monte Cristo.  All on his own.

He finally grew out of his first literary love, Harry Potter, and sword and sorcerer fantasies. (Me, inveterate biography/history reader to wife:  "It's all garbage.  It does nothing to grow his knowledge!")

I can admit when I was wrong. 

I'm so proud of that kid I could burst.

Posted by: Dave at November 30, 2014 05:26 AM (4HYng)

91 Saki's "The Toys of Peace" is a delightful little jewel related to the feminisation of boys' play. Written nearly a hundred years ago.

Posted by: Robbo at November 30, 2014 05:27 AM (DC+MK)

92 Jack London's "All Gold Canyon" is one I recounted to my 8 y.o. grandson while taking a hike up into the Flatirons foothills above Broomfield, CO. Find the fleck in the stream, prospect up to find the vein by digging a series of holes cross-slope, get to the vein, down in the hole, and get shot in the back by Officer Darren Wilson. But in London's story, there is revenge. Sweet revenge.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at November 30, 2014 05:28 AM (vSxTY)

93 12 That line tower in the photo is so fake it hurts. Looks like a 12 year old made it.
Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 09:23 AM (vPh3W)
**********************
The 60-foot woman, on the other hand, is like totally real.

Posted by: Despiser of all things puce at November 30, 2014 05:29 AM (TqyFL)

94 25 O. Henry short stories; Thomas Hardy, especially Tess of the d'Urdervilles and The Return of the Native; Madame Bovary; Ivanhoe; Heart of Darkness

Posted by: Editor at November 30, 2014 05:30 AM (FdjhG)

95 As for boys, I think Lonesome Dove may be the best American novel since Twain. It's got sex and foul language, though, so I guess it's a judgment call on said boys' level of maturity. Guys doing guy stuff. Male friendship on an epic scale without sophisticated hipster whispers of secret, glorious buttsecks.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 05:31 AM (yxw0r)

96 Having a decent home library is the best inoculation against all this modern claptrap. ::adjusts monocle:: Stop whining about The (Wo)Man keeping you down. Never have we had more access to more books in more formats. There is nothing to prevent you from having shelves laden with Kipling, Haggard, Hemingway, and Heinlein. I did, and my parents came up from very hard circumstances. We're always saying it's not the school's job to raise our children. Here's a good chance to prove it.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at November 30, 2014 05:31 AM (QBm1P)

97

Hello from Way Down Here 

 

My story about boys and femlit....

 

My son, finally reaching his final year at school, totally rebelled  at reading one of the assigned books for his HSC    "Looking For  Alibrandi"  

 

It's a useless chick lit book he says....so of course, being Mum of the Year,  I read it,  made notes for him, and he passed his final English exam  (or I did)

 

I did enjoy the book,  but it was a girlie read - emotional and heartbreaking stuff - for my sporty surfer son though?   No no no...

Posted by: aussie at November 30, 2014 05:32 AM (U+r+e)

98 i bought two books this week one from a moron, i don't want to use their real name until i have their permission & then "unbroken" by laura hildebrand....recommended by my brother in laws father over thanksgiving dinner....it's the story of olympic runner louie zamperini ...i guess it's been made into a movie.....sounds interesting... also got as gifts for other people "killing paton" by the blowhard the next two kid books by limbaugh & beck's new book "dreamers & deceivers"

Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl 97 days until Spring Training at November 30, 2014 05:33 AM (u8GsB)

99 Guys doing guy stuff. Male friendship on an epic scale without sophisticated hipster whispers of secret, glorious buttsecks. Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 10:31 AM (yxw0r) I so loved Lonesome Dove. It had that dirty gritty feel of the real old west. Unfortunately the west our kids are exposed to is Django in chains or some such crap.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:34 AM (M8AJc)

100 & beck's new book "dreamers & deceivers" Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl 97 days until Spring Training at November 30, 2014 10:33 AM (u8GsB) Hi PG, Did you ever get around to reading Gone Girl? I thought it was awesome.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:36 AM (M8AJc)

101 There is a short story, whose name and author I cannot remember, in which a man is riding on a train or bus while seated next to a woman (mother or nanny) who is also riding, but with two or three unruly children. After enduring the woman's futile efforts to bring the children to heel, the man volunteers to tell them a story. A story which he fills with unruly and rebellious characters and actions -- all designed to appall the woman -- but which keeps the children enthralled and engaged for the remainder of the journey. At the story's conclusion, the woman proceeds to let the man know just how unseemly and inappropriate his story was, to which he responded that at least HE had managed to overcome their unruliness with it when SHE hadn't with her rules for decorum and whatnot. Does this sound familiar to anyone here? Name and author, please, if you do recognize it.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) [/i][/u][/s] at November 30, 2014 05:36 AM (GQnRa)

102 It's a useless chick lit book he says....so of course, being Mum of the Year, I read it, made notes for him, and he passed his final English exam (or I did) I did enjoy the book, but it was a girlie read - emotional and heartbreaking stuff - for my sporty surfer son though? No no no... Posted by: aussie at November 30, 2014 10:32 AM (U+r+e) heh. nice

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 05:36 AM (IXrOn)

103 At the risk of being burned as a heretic... I don't think it matters if adults read fiction on not. If men want to get their couch entertainment watching football or playing Call of Duty instead of reading fiction, it doesn't matter. It's playtime. Fiction is used to teach kids to read, because they need practice reading increasingly difficult books in order to be ready to read the non-fiction they'll see later. Kids love stories and so stories are used to teach them to read. I am personally in favor of eliminating fiction from the secondary school curriculum and from the general education requirements at colleges. (I'm in favor of eliminating general ed, too, but that's a different issue). Have students read non-fiction in high school. If they want fake romance, fake adventure, etc. they can go to the library or go online. Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real?

Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 05:38 AM (H0Dfa)

104 A teeny tiny snippet from the early days of my NaNoWriMo winning story.  58K words and still writing.

"Gynoid is a term created by British SF author Gwyneth Jones to describe female androids.  Term entered popular vernacular with the works of Hajime Sorayama."

*waves to OSP*

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at November 30, 2014 05:39 AM (wU90H)

105 I was fortunate to grow up when and where I did. This was when phonics was the only way to learn reading. TV was new enough that a house might have one or none and the AM radio was probably in the kitchen. Most homes had a hi-fi that might have a radio. We played outside if at all possible. Even though the area was barely middle class, almost every house with kids had a set of encyclopedias and a good dictionary. And if a constant stream of chic lit type books had been assigned, the dads would have had words with that teacher. (This was soon after WW II and Korea. Most fathers were veterans and valued masculine traits in their sons.) That encyclopedia at home and the local library were my saviors once I got beyond picture books. I could read the first Hardy Boys (before they screwed them up), the Heinlein 'juveniles' (great vocabulary builders), Bullfinch's Mythology (had to keep the encyclopedia nearby for that one), etc. The adventures held my attention as I learned to read and appreciate words. My first 'literature', in 4th grade, was Treasure Island. What a wonderful way to start kids on literature and classics and the potential that reading offers! I doubt that a steady stream of introverted, feminine claptrap (can you say Maya Angelou?) would have lead to life long love (obsession) with reading. If you want to see the counterpoint to all this feminization of young boys, look at the video games they play: death, destruction, violence, gore, and thrills that risk death. But will they ever want to read? I doubt it.

Posted by: JTB at November 30, 2014 05:40 AM (FvdPb)

106 Does this sound familiar to anyone here? Name and author, please, if you do recognize it. Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) at November 30, 2014 10:36 AM (GQnRa) Sounds Roald Dahl-esque.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 05:40 AM (yxw0r)

107 So...

What would we recommend as books or stories for boys to read to escape the oppressive Harpies' claws of modern feminism? I'll start the list --

"The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", by Mark Twain
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", by Mark Twain
"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", by Mark Twain
"Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption", by Stephen King
"The Body", by Stephen King

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) at November 30, 2014 09:53 AM (GQnRa)
*******************
"Red Sky at Morning" by Richard Bradford
"Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein
"The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service
"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyal

Posted by: Snowbound at November 30, 2014 05:40 AM (TqyFL)

108 So Darren Wilson resigns.

"I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk"



What the fuck is going on with these people?



This guy should keep his job specifically because he is guilty of nothing at all except doing his job and protecting himself!  Why can no one stand up for right?  By forcing him to resign they are admitting that the mob wins.


Win this rioting started they should have taken out the leaders and stood their fucking ground.   Protect the businesses and the people is what they should be doing.   Allowing this crap to go on only encourages the mob mentality, tells them they can be effective with voilence and law breaking.


And this serves to make all of unsafe, which is their fucking purpose in life; to enforce the laws, not to mollycoddle these low life sumbags.


This is not good.


Oh and also; they are asking his new wife to resign also.



I am sick and tired of these feckless fucks, abaonding the constitution and the rule of law at every turn.   And yet, you and I are held to the same laws that they discard.


Fucking assholes.



"

Posted by: Mrs. Ida Lowry at November 30, 2014 05:40 AM (8N+Kq)

109 I have seen so many versions of that Tandem Story. I had it emailed to me at Ole Miss in the 1990s. And I will make a repeat plug for "Why We Lost" by Dan Bolger.

Posted by: SGT Dan's Cat at November 30, 2014 05:41 AM (LiqBV)

110 Michael Swanwick's fantasy novel _The Dragons of Babel_. It's set in the same grungy-industrial-fairyland world of his earlier novel _The Iron Dragon's Daughter_, but isn't a sequel as far as I know. It's a pretty good story in a fascinating setting.
Posted by: Trimegistus




Read Iron Daughter myself. Too grim of a work to say I enjoyed the book, it's was like Tolkien meets Art Spiegelman's "Maus", but have to applaud the writer's willingness to try something unique, And Swanwick is a pretty impressive writer, as far as technique goes,

More of an admirable book than an enjoyable one.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at November 30, 2014 05:42 AM (kdS6q)

111 Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) at November 30, 2014 10:36 AM (GQnRa)

That sounds like a "Saki" story. H.H. Munro.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 05:43 AM (Zu3d9)

112 That's awesome. Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 10:26 AM (M8AJc) Heh. My friend in HS was the salutorian. His mom constantly pushed him academically, and as a result he was a little arrogant and a lot screwed up. When I beat him on the SATs by 50 points I think his mom nearly lost her mind. You know that he studied constantly for that test, whereas I rolled out of bed that morning and went, "Oh crap, I have the SAT today!"

Posted by: Colorado Alex at November 30, 2014 05:45 AM (POJ1i)

113 Caption for above photo: "Yeah, Godzilla dorked me in the squeak hole then dumped me.* Now, I hate all vaguely phallic shaped objects" *Advice given to J.J. Shepton from the Manners Guide on Hollywood Romance.

Posted by: naturalfake at November 30, 2014 05:45 AM (KBvAm)

114 Hi aussie, I hope you're having a wonderful tomorrow down there in Upside-Down Land.

I did enjoy the book, but it was a girlie read - emotional and heartbreaking stuff - for my sporty surfer son though? No no no...

And now we see the wisdom of our great-grandparents in having separate schools for boys and girls. They're just.... different. It's obvious.

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 30, 2014 05:46 AM (6LhMR)

115 Posted by: Colorado Alex at November 30, 2014 10:45 AM (POJ1i)

But now you hang around with a bunch of perverted reprobates.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 05:46 AM (Zu3d9)

116 108 Ida "This guy should keep his job specifically because he is guilty of nothing at all except doing his job and protecting himself!" Spot. On.

Posted by: speedster1 at November 30, 2014 05:46 AM (C0wzD)

117 "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service I read this at our Saturday evening campfire two years ago during our "frostbite" outdoor camping trip in January. Last year, another Assistant Scoutmaster read it (he had not been on the previous year's trip). I intend to have it become a troop tradition and have started to look for other poems or short stories to read at our campfires. Become a gopher and undermine the walls, one hole at a time, I say.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars(TM) [/i][/u][/s] at November 30, 2014 05:47 AM (GQnRa)

118 Thanks for all recs for my MS daughter. Would Kim be a good first Kipling?

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 05:47 AM (cbfNE)

119 What would we recommend as books or stories for boys to read to escape the oppressive Harpies' claws of modern feminism? I'll start the list -- ======== The Executioner series by Mack Bolan was my favorite when i was 10 and onward.

Posted by: fastfreefall at November 30, 2014 05:48 AM (XKsP1)

120

Book reading this week

 

The Complete Works of Suetonius....  and I'm up to the story of Caligula, the Emperor after Tiberius and before Claudius.. 

 

The bloke who was intending to make his  horse Incitatus a consul,   and the horse  had his own house  - it really is a terrible story about how one man can be a ruler of a country yet be totally and obviously mentally ill..

 

Thank you all here for the book recommendations - my Kindle is overflowing and I need to live for another 50 years to get through them all!

Posted by: aussie at November 30, 2014 05:48 AM (U+r+e)

121

For sports-minded boys, Throw the Long Bomb!  by Jack Laflin

 

Follows a rookie QB with the NY Giants from signing to training camp to the playoffs where he experiences the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Posted by: Count de Monet, Person of Pallor at November 30, 2014 05:48 AM (JO9+V)

122
On the nightstand:

The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 Conservative Writers on Why the Virtuous Life is Funny as Hell 2014

An all-star team of eighteen conservative writers offers a hilarious, insightful, sanctimony-free remix of William Bennetts The Book of Virtues without parental controls. The Seven Deadly Virtues sits down next to readers at the bar, buys them a drink, and an hour or three later, ushers them into the revival tent without them even realizing it.

In the books opening essay, P. J. O'Rourke observes: Virtue has by no means disappeared. Its as much in public view as ever. But its been strung up by the heels. Virtue is upside down. Virtue is uncomfortable. Virtue looks ridiculous. All the change and the house keys are falling out of Virtues pants pockets.

Here are the virtues everyone (including the books contributors) were taught in Sunday school, but have totally forgotten about. By the time readers have completed the book, they wont even realize that theyve just been catechized into an entirely different and better moral universe.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at November 30, 2014 05:48 AM (kdS6q)

123 #181 - Yes, it is Saki, can't remember the title, but the punchline is delicious. The male character remarks that the woman with the children will be embarrassed in public forever after, every time the kids ask her for 'an improper story.' In the parlance of the time, this meant a rude and adults-only story.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at November 30, 2014 05:48 AM (95iDF)

124 Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real? Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 10:38 AM (H0Dfa) I'll respectfully disagree. Wel written fiction is very educational. In my second Novel I bring up the massacre at Potocari in bosnia, among other things, and write accurately about the failure of the dutch peacekeepers to fight and protect the civilians. I also write about Manuel Noriega being a CIA asset. Not many people know that. I didn't until I did the research. I think we can all agree that the most intelligent accomplished people on the planet are voracious readers. When I taught math, I preached reading and taught vocabulary. Many math teachers don't do that and I think it made my students successful. Ever wonder what the word Percent means? My teachers never taught it. It means of a hundred. Everything you do requires reading, if you can read, you can figure stuff out. You are correct about the books they are forcing them to read. Much of it is crap.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:49 AM (M8AJc)

125 Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real? Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 10:38 AM (H0Dfa) I'll respectfully disagree. Wel written fiction is very educational. In my second Novel I bring up the massacre at Potocari in bosnia, among other things, and write accurately about the failure of the dutch peacekeepers to fight and protect the civilians. I also write about Manuel Noriega being a CIA asset. Not many people know that. I didn't until I did the research. I think we can all agree that the most intelligent accomplished people on the planet are voracious readers. When I taught math, I preached reading and taught vocabulary. Many math teachers don't do that and I think it made my students successful. Ever wonder what the word Percent means? My teachers never taught it. It means of a hundred. Everything you do requires reading, if you can read, you can figure stuff out. You are correct about the books they are forcing them to read. Much of it is crap.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:49 AM (M8AJc)

126 ((OSP)) no i haven't...i'll put it on my list.....looks good! when is your book out?...i'm going to have to re-read your first one to prepare for it!

Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl 97 days until Spring Training at November 30, 2014 05:49 AM (u8GsB)

127 alright...re zerks 'don't let kids read fiction' argument..my experience fwiw.
Studied German in HS and college; thought I knew the 'Germans' pretty well. Also read "The Tin Drum" in HS - not assigned, just interested in Deutsch lit. The book is fiction, and the characters are fictional. Thought it was all interesting, but probably overly stereotypical of the Germans. Later in life visited Germany and, quelle surprise, the Volk are very much
like Grass' characterization of them. Turns out his version of life in Germany during WWII is VERY much more the truth than any 'non-fiction' account I had read. So there you have it.

Posted by: geezer der mensch at November 30, 2014 05:49 AM (6aFlV)

128

I loved Jungle Books as a child, and started my Kipling there.

 

My son's first "aha!" with reading was Kurt Vonnegut, and then Shawshank Redemption.

 

My daughter has always loved reading since the letters first jumped into words.

Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 05:50 AM (Sq/lh)

129 Hey, double double.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:51 AM (M8AJc)

130 Heinlein is the one who introduced me to SF, now just about the only thing I read.  But this past two weeks I have been re-reading the Mitch Rapp series from Vince Flynn. 

Posted by: Vic[/i] at November 30, 2014 05:51 AM (u9gzs)

131 My daughter has always loved reading since the letters first jumped into words. Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 10:50 AM (Sq/lh) Ditto. I can almost recite Rikki Tikki Tavi by heart.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:51 AM (M8AJc)

132 I am personally in favor of eliminating fiction from the secondary school curriculum and from the general education requirements at colleges == Core Curriculum agrees with you. It is replacing fiction with non-fiction in school tests, I think.

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 05:52 AM (cbfNE)

133 I'm enjoying reading a math book. No, really. Someone recommended a series of math books that are a story with math and other stuff mixed in. Life of Fred Math dot com. There are samples there to look at. I read two pages and immediately ordered the first set. My youngest laughed so hard he had a coughing fit. Let me tell you, it's a great thing to have a math book that makes a kid cough. I mean laugh. Whatever. Either way, it's different! Now I'm thinking of getting the Language Arts books...

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 30, 2014 05:52 AM (0xTsz)

134

Old Sailors--also  "dog!  dog!  Red, red dog!  There is hair between every toe!"

 

No insult like a jungle insult, is there?

 

I love Rikki, and quaked during the battle with Nag and Nagaina, after suffering through the buildup to the inevitable

Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 05:54 AM (Sq/lh)

135 My third oldest is a few short weeks from English lit degree from Berkeley (his choice not mine). In short, he despises the department and the philosophy therein. It is an intellectually corrupt department; it is all about the faculty and the theory, nothing about the subject. Not that a lot of the subjects/books they offer in courses are worth reading.

Posted by: aggravated libertarian at November 30, 2014 05:54 AM (cmBvC)

136 More books for boys:

Don't neglect the Victorian author G.A. Henty. He wrote a ton of historical adventure novels for boys. They're of uneven quality (dude really needed an editor), but you'll find plenty of good stuff.

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 30, 2014 05:54 AM (6LhMR)

137 when is your book out?...i'm going to have to re-read your first one to prepare for it! Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl 97 days until Spring Training at November 30, 2014 10:49 AM (u8GsB) I'm dying inside right now. My editor is having personal problems and I'm already over half way through the process and in it for a grand. I'm a pretty understanding guy and she's a wonderful woman, but it was supposed to be out Nov 1st. I'm kind of stuck.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:54 AM (M8AJc)

138 Sorry to go OT on your book discussion, this resignation just pissed me the hell off.


Oh well, I wish I had time to read books, I used to enjoy them.


Work, two kids, one with a severe disability, house, and all of that leaves not a lot of time for book reading.


Levin's Liberty Amendments and Law of Self Defense is the two books on my shelf waiting to be opened up.


Oh well.

Posted by: Mrs. Ida Lowry at November 30, 2014 05:55 AM (8N+Kq)

139 #87, I loved MiG Pilot when I was a kid. Still own a copy. The crack cocaine of my childhood were the Landmark Press editions of various WWII classics. The aforementioned Guadalcanal Diary, Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far, and so on.

Posted by: SGT Dan's Cat at November 30, 2014 05:55 AM (LiqBV)

140 #87, I loved MiG Pilot when I was a kid. Still own a copy. The crack cocaine of my childhood were the Landmark Press editions of various WWII classics. The aforementioned Guadalcanal Diary, Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far, and so on.

Posted by: SGT Dan's Cat at November 30, 2014 05:55 AM (LiqBV)

141

114  OregonMuse

 

Hi and it is Monday here!   And thanks again for this thread -  just the best!   

 

There are still many single sex schools here - and as you can imagine very popular with parents...

 

 

Posted by: aussie at November 30, 2014 05:55 AM (U+r+e)

142 Jack London (even though he was a crappy commie) is excellent reading for boys. "Call of the Wild", of course. But almost all of his Yukon stories like "To Build a Fire", are pure awesome and built around manly virtues. In a similar but different vein, I remember being hugely impressed by- "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" when I was in high school. And really what's not to like- anti-commie and a great story built around surviving in the harshest conditions by appreciating the good in the smallest of things. More manly virtue.

Posted by: naturalfake at November 30, 2014 05:56 AM (KBvAm)

143 118 Thanks for all recs for my MS daughter. Would Kim be a good first Kipling? Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 10:47 AM (cbfNE) There is no good first Kipling. It's painful and awkward. I spent the night I was first Kippled sobbing in the bathroom on the phone with my mother. She assured me that it eventually got better. Now that I'm married, thankfully I only have to Kipple on his birthday and our anniversary. Maybe on Valentine's Day. If there's jewelry involved.

Posted by: GRRL Power at November 30, 2014 05:56 AM (yxw0r)

144 44 28 Ah, a "whole language" casualty. Thank goodness your parents stepped in with phonics; so many parents either don't care to or think that the teachers must know what they're doing. How people---genuinely well-meaning people---got into the bizarre whole language idea is fascinating to me. Posted by: Jenny Hates Her Phone at November 30, 2014 09:58 AM (ZXKWI) I'm completely mystified by the silly 'whole word' nonsense. Writing is encoded speech, it only makes bloody sense to 'sound out the words' when one doesn't recognize them. I hate to don the tinfoil hat, but how is 'whole word' NOT sabotaging new, or even not so new, readers?

Posted by: J. Random Dude at November 30, 2014 05:57 AM (8OfdL)

145 Lighting the Corgi lamp. Run my corgis, run!

Posted by: rickb223[/s][/i][/b] at November 30, 2014 05:58 AM (BN/jk)

146 "The Lawrenceville Stories" by Owen Johnson is a collection I fell in love with when I was nine. Rambunctious adventures in a boys' boarding school circa 1895. I assume they were published as magazine shorts, then collected into loosely chaptered novels. "Hickey" Hicks declares war on a priggish housemaster. Transfer student John Humperdink Stover, the Varmint, declares war on his new housemates. Grifters Doc Macnooder and the Tennessee Shad lay siege to the allowances of the entire school. In all of them, boys are boys. Playing pranks, sneaking cigarettes, swindling, bullying, cutting academic corners, rebelling, battering one another on the football field. Not the sanitized, censored, G-rated crap that schools permit today. Yet all tend toward an ultimate moral lesson. Mr. Stover ends up at Yale in a sequel, where he battles stultifying conformity and snobbery. It's an American descendant of Tom Brown's Schooldays, Kipling's Stalky and Company and a cousin to the boys' weekly story magazines that George Orwell considered in a long essay. Harry Potter and company are the most recent generation. Heinlein's juveniles are distant cousins. If boys (and girls) appreciated that their mundane school years are full of the same chances to choose greatness as young Luke Skywalker, young Indiana Jones and young Bruce Wayne, they'd grow up avid readers and moral adults. I only wish Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown could have met the prodigious Hickey at age nine.

Posted by: Little Miss Spellcheck at November 30, 2014 05:58 AM (z899H)

147 Posted by: SGT Dan's Cat at November 30, 2014 10:55 AM (LiqBV) Save that copy, they are out of print and are selling for between $30 and $150 a copy.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 05:58 AM (M8AJc)

148
And just finished:

A Darkling Sea  by James L. Cambias

This SF novel is set on a distant ice world, Ilmatar, whose undersea native species are being studied by human scientists. The centaur-like Sholen, the dominant alien species in that area of space, have allowed the humans access to Ilmatar, but under strict rules, which include the requirement that they absolutely must not have any contact with its residents.

When a human gets too close to a group of Ilmatarans and is killed by them, the Sholen send a team of investigators to the planet; the incident not only threatens the diplomatic relations between humans and the Sholen but also could lead to all-out war.

Pretty impressive first novel by Cambias, with all the bouncy enthusiasm and puppy stumbles that implies. Very much like one of David Brin's early novels in content, structure and style.  Very -- very much like.

Worth a read.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at November 30, 2014 05:59 AM (kdS6q)

149

aggravted libertarian--having just finally shpeherded both a boy and a girl through the public system, my impression is that "literature" is not about literature, but about identity politics.

 

It was interesting to read through the things the kids were assigned over the years, and watch most of them appear with great fanfare and disappear beneath the continuing waves of crap, apparently selected ONLY because they were written by for or about 1) a minority-race incest victim, 2) a gay bullying victim, 3)  a gay minority-race incest survivor bullying victim,  4) a lesbian minority-race transgender victim of bullying, and so on.

 

Not a story, character or opus in the bunch that is anything more than a set of plug-in formulas.

Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 06:00 AM (Sq/lh)

150 49 The only obstacle I have to reading, now that I'm retired and have time, is this blog ... spend way too much time lurking! Posted by: WingNut at November 30, 2014 10:01 AM (A4AYO) Yeah, that's me (except for the retired part). I'm sitting here reading about books instead of reading books. Fun though. At the moment, I'm reading "The Basement Tapes Track-by-Track". That's educational, too. https://tinyurl.com/onkaet2

Posted by: rickl at November 30, 2014 06:00 AM (sdi6R)

151 and yes, I know Grass has confessed to being in the Nazi Party during WWII...

Posted by: geezer der mensch at November 30, 2014 06:00 AM (6aFlV)

152 I totally agree with the "Jungle Books" above. Also, "Kim" by Kipling is stuffed full of adventure. Also Kipling's short stories are great fun for a boy and full of manly virtues and despite his smearing by leftards has a rather sophisticated view of interactions between Indians and Britons.

Posted by: naturalfake at November 30, 2014 06:00 AM (KBvAm)

153 @117 I used to do the same at Camp Alaska with London's "To Build A Fire." You could watch the boys getting colder as the story progressed. They loved it when the dog left, though. It became a kilroyism of a sort, when you were listing everything that could go wrong if you screwed up, one scout would always add "And then your dog leaves."

And not one kid in that troop will build a fire under an evergreen.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at November 30, 2014 06:00 AM (LDGeY)

154 She's sneering at your 14KVA.

Posted by: DaveA[/i][/b][/s] at November 30, 2014 06:04 AM (DL2i+)

155 I saw Wicked! at the Kennedy Center on its first tour (with Idina Menzell! spectacular!), and enjoyed it immensely, and went out to get the book for further enjoyment. Idutifully read it through to the pointless boring bitter end,and was even more impressed with the musical's ability to have crafted a cohesive and entertaining product from so much masturbatory dreck. Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 10:24 AM (Sq/lh) Wicked was one of the few books in 5 decades of reading I have ever tossed aside in disgust. I couldn't make myself finish it. Love the musical, though.

Posted by: Elinor, Who Usually Looks Lurkily at November 30, 2014 06:05 AM (NqQAS)

156 Oh well Rons, it's been fun. Back to writing. I'm sure we will see, Amy Lynn Golden Angel, eventually. I'll stick with my editor and pray. Later kids.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 06:06 AM (M8AJc)

157 @ 149. Good point -my son couldn't bring himself to contribute to the Berkeley lit journal, as he does not have much interest in gay/les/trans whatever stories, which is about all they publish. That and down at the mouth fatalistic crap.

Posted by: aggravated libertarian at November 30, 2014 06:07 AM (cmBvC)

158 Oh well. Posted by: Mrs. Ida Lowry at November 30, 2014 10:55 AM (8N+Kq) Your pissed? Come deal with my wife.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 06:09 AM (M8AJc)

159 Now I can't find it, but whoever posted about text vs. context is spot-on. In college, it was all about who the writer was, what the gender politics of his/her time were, how the class struggles reflected in the work were applicable today, yada yada. Almost no time spent on style, storytelling, craft. In retrospect, my English degree is really more of a sociology degree.

Posted by: GRRL Power at November 30, 2014 06:10 AM (yxw0r)

160 I do not even think this wave of hatred that many women (and men) have of themselves should be called "feminism." - I prefer the term "twat twaddle".

Posted by: The Great White Snark at November 30, 2014 06:11 AM (LImiJ)

161 Angry divorce sock off.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 06:12 AM (yxw0r)

162 Hey, OSP! Been enjoying reading your stuff. Got a bit behind, but will catch back up soon.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 30, 2014 06:12 AM (0xTsz)

163 To those who disagreed: thank you for your thoughtful comments. At least in CA, I think the mix in high school is supposed to be 70% of total reading is non-fiction, 30% fiction. The non-fiction includes reading done in the science and history classes, so there is more fiction than 30% in the English.

Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 06:18 AM (H0Dfa)

164

155 Elinor--you're a better woman than I--I kept holding out for something thst would show me what the fuss was all about.  Glad I'm not the only one that didn't like it!

157 aggravated libertarian--I'd rather read a really good book by an author who happens to be gay (anything by Fannie Flagg--always enjoyable to me) than suffer through the literary equivalent of affirmative action quotas, but that seems to be the theme in academia these days.

Posted by: barbarausa at November 30, 2014 06:20 AM (Sq/lh)

165 Posted by: GRRL Power at November 30, 2014 10:56 AM (yxw0r) -- *dies laughing*

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 06:21 AM (cbfNE)

166 "The Lawrenceville Stories" by Owen Johnson is a collection I fell in love with when I was nine. Rambunctious adventures in a boys' boarding school circa 1895.

Posted by: Little Miss Spellcheck at November 30, 2014 10:58 AM (z899H)

I went to that school.

And it is now a multicultural, hyper-environmental, feminist hellhole.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at November 30, 2014 06:22 AM (Zu3d9)

167 I cut my teeth on Robb White books. I read The Secret Sea when I was in fifth or sixth grade and never looked back.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at November 30, 2014 06:25 AM (TjE+T)

168 Re #44, I actually know how Whole Language happened.  I'm recently retired military, going back to school for an education degree to continue the war on the domestic front.  The idiots who did it studied excellent readers, and discovered that these people simply looked at the word and knew it.  They they reasoned that this was the secret, don't sound out the word, just train yourself to recognize it on sight.  It never occurred to these academic "thinkers" that they'd identified a symptom, rather than a cause.  You can see the same process in Common Core, identifying what experienced people learn along the way and determining that this is how you should start. 

Posted by: Graves at November 30, 2014 06:26 AM (3MEXB)

169 147, hardly the most expensive thing on the shelf. I have a first edition of Grant's memoirs that I received from friends of my grandparents. They didn't trust their grandchildren with it. I saw a slightly mismatched pair at a shop in Atlanta ten years ago for a thousand, and mine are in better shape.

Posted by: SGT Dan's Cat at November 30, 2014 06:27 AM (LiqBV)

170 At the risk of being burned as a heretic... I don't think it matters if adults read fiction on not. If men want to get their couch entertainment watching football or playing Call of Duty instead of reading fiction, it doesn't matter. It's playtime. Fiction is used to teach kids to read, because they need practice reading increasingly difficult books in order to be ready to read the non-fiction they'll see later. Kids love stories and so stories are used to teach them to read. I am personally in favor of eliminating fiction from the secondary school curriculum and from the general education requirements at colleges. (I'm in favor of eliminating general ed, too, but that's a different issue). Have students read non-fiction in high school. If they want fake romance, fake adventure, etc. they can go to the library or go online. Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real? Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 10:38 AM (H0Dfa) Why not do both/all? Reading enhances/strengthens creative thought and visual/spacial imagery. Reading teaches morals and the difference between "good" and "bad," especially with fiction, which makes it more fun and engaging, hence it "sticks." Associations made reading fun books and life lessons sometimes aren't even realized until later in life. But, it was in there somewhere from something you read for many people. Reading is also a different form of "meditation" for me, especially when it is fiction versus bio's, science, philosophy, religions, or history and whatnot. Football raises my blood pressure. So does soccer (I am the real heretic!). And, as far as gaming, my career was the gaming industry to racked up way too many hours hard-core gaming. Again, very different than reading, and reading fiction. Reading is a gift. Nothing else really compares. From Dr. Seuss, to The Tao of Pooh, to Ulysses...

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 06:30 AM (IXrOn)

171 Now what I would murder one of you for would be the fourth volume of the late Have Saal's self-published MACV-SOG history. I have the first three but I had a choice between #4 and gas money home from Fort Bragg.

Posted by: SGT Dan's Cat at November 30, 2014 06:30 AM (LiqBV)

172 Greetings: That force-feeding of poetry to boys has been going on a lot longer than you indicate. I was so victimized back in the Catholic schools of the "50s and '60s in the Bronx. In fact, the only bit of poetry I remember is: "I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris and he. I galloped, he galloped, we galloped all three. That's anapest guys, anapest.

Posted by: 11B40 at November 30, 2014 06:30 AM (yMbU8)

173 I finished Time and Time Again about a guy who goes back to 1914 to save Franz Ferdinand and kill Kaiser Bill. The prose is only serviceable but the plot has more twists and turns than a Donk trying g to explain why Obola is not a SCOAMF. I also read Mars the Avenger by Alan Schribner, a murder mystery set in Ancient Rome. I quite liked it. There was enough detail to give a you-are-there feel plus a little philosophy about the distinction between law and morality.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at November 30, 2014 06:35 AM (FPcmA)

174 Dildo@166: I read it years before I came to the states. It was one of the reasons I ended up here and not UK or Australia. Every time I ride a train through Princeton Junction, I wish I could hop off and visit legendary Green House and the Cleve. But I'd need that Twilight Zone taxi that would take minus 125 years to cover the ten miles.

Posted by: Little Miss Spellcheck at November 30, 2014 06:35 AM (z899H)

175 And it is now a multicultural, hyper-environmental, feminist hellhole. It may be but they still have a lovely campus and a quite talented theatre teacher who has a drama group I am sometimes involved with. :^) He is from West Virgina originally and from some of the things he says there is at least of a bit of conservative left in him after being totally indoctrinated by professional theatre.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:35 AM (FS3xS)

176 144 Phonics I'm old enough that we had to do phonics and diagramming sentences in elementary school. I hated it then. I'm so glad now that we did it. Also old enough to remember when they first started banning the practice of separating classes based on abilities so that self-esteem wouldn't be harmed. I guess having a realistic sense of one's abilities is a bad thing...

Posted by: doug at November 30, 2014 06:36 AM (p45Lb)

177 # 101: That is Saki's "The storyteller". Another beautiful gem.

Posted by: Robbo at November 30, 2014 06:36 AM (DC+MK)

178 I'll have to look for "The Lawrrenceville Stories" and read it.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:37 AM (FS3xS)

179 people simply looked at the word and knew it. - It's The Music Man method of teaching reading.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at November 30, 2014 06:38 AM (LImiJ)

180 Football raises my blood pressure. So does soccer (I am the real heretic!). "Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking." -Henry "Hank" Hill

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 06:38 AM (yxw0r)

181 I read "Time and Again" by Jack Finney in the 90's. Is that the same book you are thinking of as "Time and Time Again". I loved the Jack Finney book

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:41 AM (FS3xS)

182 Finalizing my syllabi for next semester, knowing that in my one survey class, all the students (so far) are male and non-majors. We're starting with martyrdom narratives and going from there, Ignatius and Polycarp first, and then later Cranmer's story from Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Only four female authors on the list--Elizabeth Barrett Browning (devotional poem), Christina Rossetti (devotional poem), Laura Ingalls Wilder (essay), and Flannery O'Connor (essay). Zero sappy love poetry or feminist foolishness. I think we'll have fun. As for Kipling, I started with Just So Stories--one of my very favorite books as a kid.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at November 30, 2014 06:41 AM (iuQS7)

183 170 Re #44, I actually know how Whole Language happened. I'm recently retired military, going back to school for an education degree to continue the war on the domestic front. The idiots who did it studied excellent readers, and discovered that these people simply looked at the word and knew it. They they reasoned that this was the secret, don't sound out the word, just train yourself to recognize it on sight. It never occurred to these academic "thinkers" that they'd identified a symptom, rather than a cause. You can see the same process in Common Core, identifying what experienced people learn along the way and determining that this is how you should start.
Posted by: Graves at November 30, 2014 11:26 AM (3MEXB)




Great point. At this rate they'll be teaching toddlers to walk by starting out with pole vaulting.


A defining characteristic of leftists: galloping, unbridled ... hubris.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i] at November 30, 2014 06:41 AM (oKE6c)

184 Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at November 30, 2014 11:41 AM (iuQS7) Spunds like a wonderful class. Interesting and great choices. I wish I could take the class with you, Elizabeth.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:46 AM (FS3xS)

185 Speaking of feminists . . . http://tinyurl.com/npxsea2

Posted by: The Great White Snark at November 30, 2014 06:46 AM (aJYtt)

186 I'm old enough that we had to do phonics and diagramming sentences in elementary school. I hated it then. I'm so glad now that we did it. ********** Re. diagramming sentences: I hated it, too, and was terrible at it. I think I would be still. Waste of time. I'm a professional editor now, and couldn't tell you what a dangling participle is if you held a gun to my head. I just know how to fix it, which I learned through reading and imitating.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 06:47 AM (yxw0r)

187 good thread, lots of meat here I got lucky, caught the reading bug early and managed to read independently from middle school on. I think I went Lloyd Alexander to the Hobbit and never looked back. I was lightly curated by my librarian, Mrs Warner, but she was a book lover and one of my defenders when my father wanted me to stop reading all the time. As for guns, 9mm MAK isn't hard to get, I get mine from Ammoman and Ammoseek websites. It's not a powerful right, a touch above .380, so could be a good pocket round. I own a CZ doublestack in 9MAKand I can easily see using it as a daily carry piece. I'd say buy it and try it for that price.

Posted by: Mark Andrew Edwards at November 30, 2014 06:48 AM (pWzW/)

188 What is the essay you are reading by Flannery O'Connor? I love her fiction.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:48 AM (FS3xS)

189 I'll respectfully disagree. Wel written fiction is very educational. Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 10:49 AM (M8AJc) right Much fiction is based on fact. Based on science (science fiction can be fact-based even in predicting the future). My favorite sci-fi is based on current physics theorem, etc. Even a book like Alaska (I read the older 1990 version) by James Michener is a thick, frothy read of Alaska's history, geography, and people, etc.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 06:49 AM (IXrOn)

190 "Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking." -Henry "Hank" Hill Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 11:38 AM (yxw0r) hehe Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. ;-)

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 06:50 AM (IXrOn)

191 I read "Time and Again" by Jack Finney in the 90's. Is that the same book you are thinking of as "Time and Time Again". I loved the Jack Finney book - I read the Finney book too (and quite liked it, I'm a sucker for time travel). This is a different book by Ben Elton.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at November 30, 2014 06:50 AM (aJYtt)

192 I'm reading "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami, so far a mainstream character-driven novel springing from an SF premise (parallel worlds) but it may eventually wind its way back into the fantastic. It quotes a lengthy excerpt from Chekhov's "Sakhalin Island," translated from Russian to Japanese and then to English (I presume). Even warned that the book is dreadful and Chekhov's worst work, I can hardly wait to read more. I love when a piece of fiction steers me to a nonfiction work I'd never otherwise encounter.

Posted by: Little Miss Spellcheck at November 30, 2014 06:51 AM (z899H)

193 couldn't tell you what a dangling participle is if you held a gun to my head



Easy: a participle that doesn't refer back to the subject of the clause. It's ubiquitous in scientific writing because of the extensive use of the passive voice, but it makes a sentence more difficult to understand because the reader has mentally to reinsert the subject to make sense of the sentence. Doing so occasionally is one thing, but doing it throughout an article is tiring.

The example I used for my grad students: "I distilled the solvent, wearing a lab coat." Makes perfect sense. In passive voice, it ends up: "The solvent was distilled, wearing a lab coat." Solvents wear lab coats now?


Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i] at November 30, 2014 06:52 AM (oKE6c)

194 FenelonSpoke, I'm not sure yet--it'll be something from Mystery and Manners. I'm currently leaning toward "The Church and the Fiction Writer," but there are several other good ones in that collection on the topic of Christians writing fiction. (It's a Christian Lit course.)

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at November 30, 2014 06:55 AM (iuQS7)

195
My wife and I raised five kids (three boys, two girls) without a TV in the house. Instead, we read aloud, a lot. Mostly, after dinner, while doing the dishes. We would take turns, pass the book around, and read. Not only were the kids introduced to good books, but reading aloud is excellent practice in reading, because you have to make sense of what's on the page rather than just skim over it, and, as a bonus, pick up practice in public speaking. So, we have a few recommendations for books that we found to be especially good, in no particular order:

"Treasure Island", by R. L. Stevenson.

"Captains Courageous", by Rudyard Kipling. No better book about how a boy becomes a man.

"The Just-So Stories", by Rudyard Kipling. Very good for younger kids.

"The Hobbit", by J. R. R. Tolkien. *Much* better than the movies.

"The Peterkin Papers", by Lucretia P. Hale. Stories about a daffy family of literalists in late 19th-century America.

The Little House books, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Much better than the TV series. For girls, "Little House in the Big Woods"; for boys, "Farmer Boy" or "The Long Winter".

The Narnia books, by C. S. Lewis. Beyond praise.

The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling. My kids especially liked "The White Seal" and "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", and "Tumai of the Elephants".

Collections of fairy tales, in particular Russian fairy tales. Baba Yaga the Witch is both terrifying and helpful. Try to find an edition illustrated by Ivan Bilibin.

"Kon Tiki", by Thor Heyerdahl. The true story of the journey across the Pacific on a balsa-wood raft: marvelous.

"A Wrinkle in Time", by Madeline L'Engle. That and the other books in the series: spooky and fun and thought-provoking.

"Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage", by Alfred Lansing. Published in 1952, and using interviews with Shackleton's men who were still alive at the time, it's a fine book about Shackleton and his amazing rescue of his men on his failed trans-Antarctic expedition. It shows men at their best.

There are many others, but these come to mind off the top of my head.

Zerk, in response to your post: Stories matter, because stories are much more than just idle recreation. Stories provide the models for how we should live our lives. In particular, stories are how we teach our children what is right and what is wrong. Giving children good, strong stories when they're young is no guarantee that they'll grow up to be good and fruitful adults: but it helps. It helps a lot.





Posted by: Brown Line at November 30, 2014 06:55 AM (a5bF3)

196 The Saki story of the bachelor and the three children is "The Storyteller". It is a Moron just-so tale, and highly recommended. A sample: ******* "The gardeners had told the Prince that you couldn't have pigs and flowers, so he decided to have pigs and no flowers." There was a murmur of approval at the the excellence of the Prince's decision; so many people would have decided the other way. ******* Other good stories: Jaques Futrelle's "The Thinking Machine". Good stuff! Escaping from a super-prison cell, that sort of thing. I'd call the unhappy trend in current literature and teaching of literature wimpification vs. feminizing. We 'ettes love our Morons just the way they are, so don't go lumping us in with the permanently aggrieved sisterhood. I really don't think it is a men/women thing so much as a strong/weak thing. The weak don't want to learn how to be strong and deal with adversity (or different opinions, HORROR) they want to bring the strong down to their level so they don't feel so bad. When they try to do that we should just point and laugh, and then get our collective asses to Mars or Shangri-La or wherever there is a good adventure in the offing. And eat bacon while we do it.

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at November 30, 2014 06:55 AM (2buaQ)

197 178 144 Phonics
I'm old enough that we had to do phonics and diagramming sentences in elementary school. I hated it then. I'm so glad now that we did it.



I didn't get it until I studied Latin and then German. Then the light bulb went on. Nothing like an inflected language to point up the need to recognize the role played by each word in a sentence.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i] at November 30, 2014 06:56 AM (oKE6c)

198 I think it would be a terrible loss if only non fiction were taught in secondary ed. Artisinal ette stated it much better than I would. But I think fiction can help teach you to be a courageous, self sacrificing human being or warn of the dangers of not being one I know many people here loathe Shakespeare But not me!) but he has a lot of moral and spiritual lessons. In addition, from Shakespeare one learn words that are part of the lexicon now south as "jealousy is the green eyes monster" or "eating us out of house and home

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:56 AM (FS3xS)

199 Our Eagles played Thursday, as did the hated Cowboys, so I think there's zero happening today that affects our chances of a playoff berth. Heading out to enjoy a mild, partly sunny Sunday.

Posted by: Little Miss Spellcheck at November 30, 2014 06:57 AM (z899H)

200 The Wrinkle in Time series are very spiritual books. I didn't read them till I was in college and loved them.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 06:58 AM (FS3xS)

201 OMGoodness Autocorrect-arrrrgh!!. That was supposed to be "..part of the lexicon such as (not south as)

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 07:00 AM (FS3xS)

202 OregonMuse: this week's observations seem to follow a common them of destruction of boundaries between disciplines: teaching literature to exclude all but feminist material, a writing assignment where students' uncooperative efforts were rewarded a high grade, and a scholarly book about principles of systems science that is actually just a book of humor. Modern works strive toward a muddy concept of non-fiction as the stuff suitable for adults to read. We lost the appreciation for variety of genres, and especially for the concept of well-crafted fiction as valid form of expression. We once recognized that fiction can be a serious form of inquiry or entertainment and in fact often was taken more seriously than non-fiction that in the past had to be constrained by hard documented evidence.

Posted by: dedomeno at November 30, 2014 07:03 AM (UccCH)

203 That line tower in the photo is so fake it hurts. Looks like a 12 year old made it.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 09:23 AM (vPh3W)



There's a line tower in that picture?

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at November 30, 2014 07:07 AM (gvtTX)

204 My mother who was a professor of English and used to keep a list of dangling participles from papers her students had written. They-as well as other errors- were hilarious. My mother sometimes used to send me back letters which I had written to her while I was in college and she had corrected them in red ink. She would circle things and write, "I can't belief you made this error!." Today I laugh at it. I didn't think it was too funny at the time. My poor mother would probably roll her eyes at the mistakes I make while posting on here if she were still alive

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 07:08 AM (FS3xS)

205 Fighting a headache and having trouble coming up with much to add to the "why teach lit" discussion (apart from recs: Sidney's Defense of Poesy, Tolkien's Tree and Leaf, Lewis' On Stories and Other Essays). But one of the pithiest versions I've seen--quoting from memory, so this might be a paraphrase--runs thus: Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Literature can tell you why that might be a bad idea.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at November 30, 2014 07:09 AM (iuQS7)

206 195 couldn't tell you what a dangling participle is if you held a gun to my head Easy: a participle that doesn't refer back to the subject of the clause. It's ubiquitous in scientific writing because of the extensive use of the passive voice, but it makes a sentence more difficult to understand because the reader has mentally to reinsert the subject to make sense of the sentence. Doing so occasionally is one thing, but doing it throughout an article is tiring. The example I used for my grad students: "I distilled the solvent, wearing a lab coat." Makes perfect sense. In passive voice, it ends up: "The solvent was distilled, wearing a lab coat." Solvents wear lab coats now? Posted by: Jay Guevara at November 30, 2014 11:52 AM (oKE6c) I salute your knowledge. As an editor (I can't be a teacher, despite published-author status and 17 years of being paid to edit and write - no master's degree in English, donchaknow, just a J.D.), I suppose it comes down simply to fixing errors versus trying to inform the error-maker. I tell my kiddos that the best way to learn to write is to read.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 07:09 AM (yxw0r)

207 Jay Guevara -- Until I started teaching myself Esperanto a few years ago, I had only the vaguest idea of what a direct object was, so I agree there. Note: Esperanto because I didn't want to spend 4-5 years before I could read adult-level material without having to look up every other word, plus no irregular verbs!

Posted by: Empire1 at November 30, 2014 07:11 AM (23rE7)

208 My poor mother would probably roll her eyes at the mistakes I make while posting on here if she were still alive. ***** No, no...grammar rules don't apply here. Me not want think of them. Interwebs posting be different from real world.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 07:14 AM (yxw0r)

209 "Tom Browns' Schooldays" (I don't know how to underline a title using this computer; Sorry.) is another example of a book that teaches great moral lessons within an interesting and engaging story. That's another book I didn't read until I hit high school.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 07:14 AM (FS3xS)

210 197 There are many others, but these come to mind off the top of my head.

Zerk, in response to your post: Stories matter, because stories are much more than just idle recreation. Stories provide the models for how we should live our lives. In particular, stories are how we teach our children what is right and what is wrong. Giving children good, strong stories when they're young is no guarantee that they'll grow up to be good and fruitful adults: but it helps. It helps a lot.
-------------
Great reading list. I agree that the stories do matter, for the reasons you have given. I bet Michael Brown read none of the books on that list. I doubt he read anything at all, and probably all for the reasons listed in this post. I am willing to bet the only stories he took in were the oral tales of gangsta rap.

Posted by: exdem13 at November 30, 2014 07:15 AM (/mTq0)

211 I salute your knowledge. As an editor (I can't be a teacher, despite published-author status and 17 years of being paid to edit and write - no master's degree in English, donchaknow, just a J.D.), I suppose it comes down simply to fixing errors versus trying to inform the error-maker.
I tell my kiddos that the best way to learn to write is to read.
Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 12:09 PM (yxw0r)



I didn't mean to be pedantic about it, I just had the zeal of the reformed sinner. I'd read the scientific literature for years before figuring out one of the things that made so many papers tedious to read.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i] at November 30, 2014 07:18 AM (oKE6c)

212 211 "Tom Browns' Schooldays" (I don't know how to underline a title using this computer; Sorry.) is another example of a book that teaches great moral lessons within an interesting and engaging story. That's another book I didn't read until I hit high school.
--------------------
Sadly that book has gone down the memory hole, and it will probably not return. I didn't even know about the book as anything but a vaguely mentioned title until I first read the Flashman series @ 20 years ago.

Posted by: exdem13 at November 30, 2014 07:18 AM (/mTq0)

213 Just checked - my local lib has neither the Lawrenceville Stories nor Tom Brown's Schooldays (although it does have a dvd of the BBC adaptation of the latter)

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 07:21 AM (cbfNE)

214 In the end, the pig will fly and decent, civilized people will learn to fly with pigs.

And civilized society will die by another inch.


Posted by: Ed at November 30, 2014 10:14 AM (4HYng)



Well, at least a plane with pigs aboard wouldn't have muslims. So there's an up-side.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at November 30, 2014 07:24 AM (gvtTX)

215 Thank you to those who wrote thoughtful replies to my post. I believe that it would be better to teach about Alaska through non-fiction and to teach morality by using real stories. My problem with learning about some place or time through fiction is that I never know what is real and what is fake. Did that person exist? That place? That event?

Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 07:27 AM (H0Dfa)

216 I didn't mean to be pedantic about it, I just had the zeal of the reformed sinner. I'd read the scientific literature for years before figuring out one of the things that made so many papers tedious to read. ****** Not pedantic at all. I was just feeling sorry for myself. No offense intended.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at November 30, 2014 07:28 AM (yxw0r)

217 Cherry(h) is probably the best living Author Who Happens To Be Gay, in SF/F. Clarke was the best ever SF Author Who Happened To Be A Pedo.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at November 30, 2014 07:29 AM (AVEe1)

218 Books for boys? Don't neglect the Richard Hannay novels by John Buchan, who was a very literate gentleman. The Thirtynine Steps, Greenmantle, etc. War, adventure, mystery, etc.


Also, Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Gulliver's travels. Any of the old Bulldog Drummond series of pulp thrillers. Sherlock Holmes.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at November 30, 2014 07:39 AM (gvtTX)

219 My poor mother would probably roll her eyes at the mistakes I make while posting on here if she were still alive Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 30, 2014 12:08 PM (FS3xS) Your mom would chase me with a tire iron.

Posted by: Berserker-Dragonheads Division at November 30, 2014 07:42 AM (FMbng)

220 That's anapest guys, anapest.

Posted by: 11B40 at November 30, 2014 11:30 AM (yMbU



That's a nasty cut. You should put some anapestic on it.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at November 30, 2014 07:45 AM (gvtTX)

221 Anapesto befpre pasta, right?

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 07:55 AM (whjqE)

222 I may have mentioned this before. For those that use a Kindle, look up ebooks put out by Delphi. These are usually "complete" collections, except for a few pieces still under copy write. Very few mistakes, well formatted for e-readers and they usually include some introductory material. They have a big list of authors, everyone from ancient Greeks to RL Stevenson, Robert E. Howard, Thoreau, and many others. Most cost between 2 to 3 dollars. The TOC actually works. A great bargain. As much as I prefer physical books, these are a great way to explore classic authors. And for youngsters (and oldsters) they offer Edgar R. Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard.

Posted by: JTB at November 30, 2014 08:05 AM (FvdPb)

223 At the risk of being annoying, I write a historical adventure series with strong heroines, the judicious use of guns, and the fate of the world at stake. www.annecleeland.com

Posted by: artemis at November 30, 2014 08:06 AM (AwPyG)

224 HOW CAN A PILE OF CONSERVATIVES THIS DEEP have made a list of books for young men, and nobody's mentioned Mark Helprin? "Soldier of the Great War," in coordination with learning "Henry V," taught me more about the character of kingly nobility, manhood, responsibility, and greatness than I had ever been exposed to before. Helprin's prose sings, his stories are witty and rich, and he has narrative discipline the likes of which I've never seen. Besides "Soldier," I have fallen in love with "Memoir from Antproof Case," which may be his best work. It's about a man with a maniacal hatred of coffee, and the book is dedicated to Juan Valdez.

Posted by: Smallish Bees at November 30, 2014 08:08 AM (YPgXi)

225 BTW, I'm still reading "Middlemarch," by George Eliot. She's a woman author who wrote under a male pseudonym, because she didn't want to be lumped in with what she viewed as silly woman contemporary novelists. Fantastic read, and she's a super-genius.

Posted by: Smallish Bees at November 30, 2014 08:10 AM (YPgXi)

226 Try "Ilium" by Dan Simmons for an action-packed science fiction yarn loaded with Shakespeare, Homer, robots, monsters, gods, philosophy, Mars, the past, the future, you-name-it. It has strong female characters, but no "feminism".

Posted by: eman at November 30, 2014 08:19 AM (MQEz6)

227 226 HOW CAN A PILE OF CONSERVATIVES THIS DEEP have made a list of books for young men, and nobody's mentioned Mark Helprin? "Soldier of the Great War," in coordination with learning "Henry V," taught me more about the character of kingly nobility, manhood, responsibility, and greatness than I had ever been exposed to before.

Helprin's prose sings, his stories are witty and rich, and he has narrative discipline the likes of which I've never seen. Besides "Soldier," I have fallen in love with "Memoir from Antproof Case," which may be his best work. It's about a man with a maniacal hatred of coffee, and the book is dedicated to Juan Valdez.

Posted by: Smallish Bees at November 30, 2014 01:08 PM (YPgXi)

"Soldier" is a great book, "Ant" I couldn't finish. "Winters Tale" may be the most gorgeous book ever written. More poetry than prose. Can't bring myself to watch the film. 0% chance they didn't butcher it.

Posted by: redclay at November 30, 2014 08:24 AM (GM8B7)

228 Currently reading "Sufficiently Advanced Technology" by Christopher Nuttall about a world that has magic and a galactic "Confederation" that is studying them to try to figure out how they do it...while at the same time itching to go in and "fix" things for the poor benighted souls on the planet who are obviously "doing it rong" in the opinion of the fixers.



I think Frederic Bastiat had a little something to say about the fixers.

Posted by: GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter at November 30, 2014 08:27 AM (6fyGz)

229 Awww, this should have made it into the book thread, earliers K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Some schools to avoid snow days through e-learning. Eventually, they'll start wondering why they need classrooms at all. All is proceeding as I have foreseen. Posted at 1:00 pm by Glenn Reynolds instapundit Glenn links his book The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself Hardcover - January 7, 2014 at the very same link to the article

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at November 30, 2014 08:33 AM (IXrOn)

230 Speaking of discounts on books, as well as men being men, Moody Publishers has 50% off everything in their bookstore tomorrow - Cyber Monday. One of their featured selections is "Act Like Men" by James Macdonald. Go to moodypublishers dot com. ( publishing house has a distinctly Christian perspective )

Posted by: grammie winger at November 30, 2014 08:34 AM (3B+O8)

231 Back to writing, Later.




Posted by: Oldsailors Poet at November 30, 2014 10:18 AM (M8AJc)




I am overjoyed to see that you are 1. still alive and well and checking in from time to time and 2. still writing. Can't wait to see what you have produced, I hope all this hard work and effort pays handsome dividends for you.

Posted by: GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter at November 30, 2014 08:40 AM (6fyGz)

232 Find the fleck in the stream, prospect up to find the vein by digging a series of holes cross-slope, get to the vein, down in the hole, and get shot in the back by Officer Darren Wilson.



Started off so promising...you were doing so well...



Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real?

Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 10:38 AM (H0Dfa)




Because a love of reading is real, and a worthwhile accomplishment all by itself. The first of the three R's is "reading" after all.


Posted by: GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter at November 30, 2014 08:48 AM (6fyGz)

233 90 He finally grew out of his first literary love, Harry Potter, and sword and sorcerer fantasies.

Well, that's a shame. I've been chewing through the most-recently published Dray Prescot novels while trapped here at the in-laws, immobile because my car's in the shop in Vegas.

The Dray Prescot series is a 52-book sword and sorcery series that I've been reading off and on since age 10. Over 40 years and 50 books later, they can still suck me in right from chapter 1. Don't know how they do it, but they do.

I started the series with book 8. Read them as I found them over the years. It's only fairly recently that I managed to fill in the first few books in the series. Then they were republished as e-books and I was able to read them all.

Except for the last six, which had only ever been published in German. The original English manuscripts had been lost. The e-book publisher has taken the German editions and translated them back into English. The final book in the series is, IIRC, finally coming out today.

I'm just starting into book 50, having munched through books 46-49 over the last couple of days.

There were a fistful of annoying typos in book 49. Other than that, I've had no complaints.

One thing I do miss in the e-books, though. The paper editions had occasional little illustrations; a little 1x1 cartoon every couple of chapters illustrating a chunk of the action. I loved 'em, but they're not in the e-books.

Posted by: Anachronda at November 30, 2014 08:58 AM (coJ1L)

234 More books for boys:



Jules Verne.


How is it we are so deep in the thread and no one has even breathed the name Jules Verne?



It's like I don't even know you people...

Posted by: GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter at November 30, 2014 09:02 AM (6fyGz)

235 I had the exact same reaction to "literature" in general in school. There were a few things I enjoyed, like Ivanhoe, but in general anything we were forced to read was clearly forced on us because no one in her right mind would read it voluntarily. And my teachers never assigned Lord of the Flies or some of the other "classics". And then, to put the icing on the cake, I picked up a book that I thought looked interesting from the free-choice shelf in the English room. It looked like a Western. Like a Romance. And it turned to be "literature" too. The lesson learned and one that I still can not get over at the age of 50 is that anything "good for you" is undoubtedly self-consciously morose and self-importantly tedious. From the library I got fun books. Every Ian Flemming. Every Louis L'Amour. Every single sweet "kiss at the end, live happily ever after" romance. I dug a box of detective book club books from the grainery, left by previous owners of our farm complete with book worm burrows and read them all. So I never stopped reading. But I did learn my lesson very well, even so.

Posted by: Synova at November 30, 2014 09:03 AM (Ek0Xs)

236 Also recently finished reading Cryptonomicon. Had it on my Kindle in the car for reading when I'm waiting in a drive-through.

I found the WWII plot thread interesting and engaging, but was not terribly enthused about the contemporary thread.

Thought the ending a bit abrupt; big build up, then quite literally BANG! and it's over.


Posted by: Anachronda at November 30, 2014 09:04 AM (coJ1L)

237 At the risk of being annoying, I write a historical adventure series with strong heroines, the judicious use of guns, and the fate of the world at stake. www.annecleeland.com

Posted by: artemis at November 30, 2014 01:06 PM (AwPyG)




I have read Murder in Thrall, great book. I haven't yet started on Retribution, it's in the Kindle along with a pile of others...

Posted by: GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter at November 30, 2014 09:04 AM (6fyGz)

238 237  And my teachers never assigned Lord of the Flies or some of the other "classics".


We had to read Lord of the Flies.  I thought it blew chunks.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at November 30, 2014 09:11 AM (u9gzs)

239 We had to read Lord of the Flies. I thought it blew chunks.

Posted by: Vic at November 30, 2014 02:11 PM (u9gzs)




I am almost ashamed to admit the number of "classics" that I have never cracked the cover of...and some of the others that I have and put down out of sheer boredom (FI, I have never been able to get more than 3 or 4 pages into Moby Dick and I remember having a copy of "2 Years Before the Mast" and don't remember how far I got; I know I didn't finish it).

Posted by: GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter at November 30, 2014 09:13 AM (6fyGz)

240 Notwithstanding that, Attkison's book is both entertaining and thought provoking. Posted by: doug at November 30, 2014 09:34 AM Read it about a week, I'd recommend it also. It's actually maddening to realize what is going on w/ our govt and the media, but it's good t obe informed.

Posted by: Indonesian Barry at November 30, 2014 09:15 AM (4azda)

241 "I am personally in favor of eliminating fiction from the secondary school curriculum and from the general education requirements at colleges. (I'm in favor of eliminating general ed, too, but that's a different issue). Have students read non-fiction in high school. If they want fake romance, fake adventure, etc. they can go to the library or go online. Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real? Posted by: zerk at November 30, 2014 10:38 AM (H0Dfa)" You know... I actually agree with this entirely. I'd say even "in all ways" I agree with this. It would be entirely appropriate for all assigned reading in *high school* to be non-fiction. Let students read what they want to read on their own time. Do "literature" courses actually do any good? Or do they mostly do harm? Saying... but literature is *important*... gets us back to where some woman (or state level committee of person's with Ed. PhD's) decide what must be read, what is good for you, and exactly how you're supposed to engage with the "literature". They're so into it now that they're stealing summer vacation, distributing lengthy lists of depressing books that have to be read over summer. What might actually be more useful is practice reading non-fiction, technical documents and learning to do research on documents. Learning to read "papers". Learning to write technical and business appropriate instructions in a clear way. Creative writing is nice, but why should it be forced on anyone?

Posted by: Synova at November 30, 2014 09:16 AM (Ek0Xs)

242 Agreed on Moby Dick. Tried twice as an adult and just couldn't do it. A couple "classics" I enjoyed reading as a young person were "All Quiet on the Western Front and The Red Badge of Courage." And no, I don't care if they are/are not approved by my conservative betters. Just good books. My two cents.

Posted by: weirdflunkyonatablet at November 30, 2014 09:18 AM (4V8vO)

243 [137] My sister is a book editor and she would love to help you, I'm sure. She's a conservative, like me, in Los Angeles. Check out her site, http://alyssakressbookediting.com/.

Posted by: Karen at November 30, 2014 09:20 AM (/7imL)

244 Why should my tax dollars go to having them read made up stuff when they could be learning something real? Posted by: zerk ---------------------------- Wall of text WARNING! Many of the pieces of fiction championed here are object lessons in morality and virtue, even when that is not apparent to the reader. Though such behavior may not be attainable by the reader, the lesson remains and instills in the reader a desire to strive to be that way. In the epilogue to Ivanhoe (did we mention Scott?), says: "...the author may, in passing, observe, that he thinks a character of a highly virtuous and lofty stamp, is degraded rather than exalted by an attempt to reward virtue with temporal prosperity. Such is not the recompense which Providence has deemed worthy of suffering merit, and it is a dangerous and fatal doctrine to teach young persons, the most common readers of romance, that rectitude of conduct and of principle are either naturally allied with, or adequately rewarded by, the gratification of our passions, or attainment of our wishes. In a word, if a virtuous and self-denied character is dismissed with temporal wealth, greatness, rank, or the indulgence of such a rashly formed or ill assorted passion as that of Rebecca for Ivanhoe, the reader will be apt to say, verily Virtue has had its reward. But a glance on the great picture of life will show, that the duties of self-denial, and the sacrifice of passion to principle, are seldom thus remunerated; and that the internal consciousness of their high-minded discharge of duty, produces on their own reflections a more adequate recompense, in the form of that peace which the world cannot give or take away."

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 09:23 AM (l1zOH)

245 One caution regarding Jules Verne. Do some research on the best translations. Many of not most of the English versions are based on terrible translations, abridgements and arbitrary editing changes that have persisted for over a century. I don't have the info at hand but some recent translations are based on careful study of the original French and are superior. Also, check out the Jules Verne Society for suggestions.

Posted by: JTB at November 30, 2014 09:24 AM (FvdPb)

246 Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 02:23 PM (l1zOH) Translation-sometimes good guys get their asses kicked but they still fill good about it.

Posted by: weirdflunkyonatablet at November 30, 2014 09:26 AM (4V8vO)

247 One problem with reading the Book Thread, ist that end up scurrying off to ABE Books to make *another* purchase. Here is their "Free Shipping" URL, lots of *bargains* there, for older books. http://tinyurl.com/me9wvuw

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 09:29 AM (l1zOH)

248 One problem with reading the Book Thread, ist that end up scurrying off to ABE Books to make *another* purchase. Here is their "Free Shipping" URL, lots of *bargains* there, for older books. http://tinyurl.com/me9wvuw

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 09:29 AM (l1zOH)

249 Allison Hayes all in my brain.

Posted by: Bertram Cabot Jr. at November 30, 2014 09:29 AM (W5DcG)

250 Translation-sometimes good guys get their asses kicked but they still fill good about it. Posted by: weirdflunkyonatablet -------------- He went down in a pile of brass..

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at November 30, 2014 09:29 AM (l1zOH)

251 239 At the risk of being annoying, I write a historical adventure series with strong heroines, the judicious use of guns, and the fate of the world at stake. www.annecleeland.com Posted by: artemis at November 30, 2014 01:06 PM (AwPyG) --- I liked Tainted Angel a lot! And also Murder in Thrall. I'm looking forward to the sequels.

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 09:30 AM (cbfNE)

252 The only "classical" author I sometimes liked was Charles Dickens. The rest blew chunks.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at November 30, 2014 09:34 AM (u9gzs)

253 I didn't read all the comments so this may have already been noted but Mark Twain may have already pointed this out with Tom and Huck- females always try to rule.  Also was pleased to see a reference to Peck's Bad Boy.  Was the commenter as old as I and was it a male or female?

Posted by: Ruth H at November 30, 2014 10:06 AM (AoUdG)

254
Jumping back in late, but Barnes and Noble also has a Black Friday expiring today:

BFRIDAY14
30% off one item, no limit

Since BN.com offers free shipping at $25 instead of Amazon's $35 ante, and BN doesn't have the Amazon coupon's $10 limit, this deal may work better for some purchases.

There's also a printable for instore use if you want to google it up.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at November 30, 2014 10:21 AM (kdS6q)

255 @votermom, she might like the Paladin series by Elizabeth Moon, starting with The Sheepfarmer's Daughter. Grendel was good, by John Gardner.  When I was that age, I read a lot of mysteries (I think that was my generation's version of action stories) and biographies/memoirs. I read a lot of Steinbeck then, too.  I occasionally read a classic then, but didn't care for them.  All I remember of Jane Eyre after several attempts is that she had "prominent teeth."  The rest, boring.

Oh, and a classic that I just read a few years ago, and regretted not reading many years prior, is Frankenstein.  I had no idea it would be so good.

Posted by: April at November 30, 2014 10:23 AM (FjIA5)

256 ok this thread may be dead....just heard from Ron Mitchell, moron & author of "Warped: a novel of involuntary time travel" the other book i bought this week and look forward to reading

Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl 97 days until Spring Training at November 30, 2014 10:57 AM (u8GsB)

257 ok this thread may be dead

The book thread is never dead.

Seriously, Many a time I've seen new book thread comments posted late in the evening, and even occasionally the next day.

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 30, 2014 11:13 AM (6LhMR)

258 Delurking to say thank you for the recommendation of "Jacob T. Marley" - I'm more than two-thirds through it, and am enjoying it! I rather skimmed through the Dickens novel, but really loved all the stage and movie productions of "A Christmas Carol," and this a thoroughly enjoyable companion to the work. It's a bit briefer than I'd like (and I spotted at least one continuity error), but the point of the story comes across clearly, and that's really what matters. Cheers!

Posted by: Where's my prezzy? at November 30, 2014 11:37 AM (k0KUS)

259 Deed of Paksenarrion is what the trade of the first three novels by Elizabeth Moon is called - Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold,

Ms. Moon spent a few years as an Lt in the USMC plus hangs out with such as the SCA.  Pak's world is pretty brutal.  There is death and battle.  But there is also rape on occasion.  And the term sisli is used to refer to female couples like Natzlin and Barra in Phelan's Copany.

The main character Paksenarrion in the opening has been betrothed by her father and against her will to someone in Three Firs.  Rebelling because she knows inside her that is not the life for her, she sets out and joins Phelan's mercenary company.  In these three books Paks has to grow and change, such actions hurt badly.  By the opening of the third book, these adventures have left Paks a shattered warrior, almost a coward.  And she has to regain her abilities to find her true calling. 

These are not easy books.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at November 30, 2014 11:41 AM (wU90H)

260 These are not easy books.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at November 30, 2014 04:41 PM (wU90H)


I loved those books.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at November 30, 2014 11:56 AM (u9gzs)

261 The Paksenarrion books were my favorites when I was in HS/college. Paks gets tortured a lot though. I am on the lookout for readable classics because of the vocabulary words though.

Posted by: @votermom at November 30, 2014 11:59 AM (nSaOE)

262 APRIL: I have my high school English students reading "Frankenstein" later this year. I'm excited about that, and I hope the kids will find it intriguing.

Posted by: Smallish Bees at November 30, 2014 12:16 PM (t9WJ9)

263

Thanks for the amazon discount link. Just ordered the New Eagles Encyclopedia. 8 dollars off.

Posted by: long time lurker at November 30, 2014 12:20 PM (ok7Un)

264 OregonMuse: You introduced the Marley book in the spirit of Gregory Maguire's "Wicked," but were you aware that Maguire himself had written a Maguire-esque novel based on "A Christmas Carol"? His novel, "Lost," is kinda-sorta about being haunted by the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge or something. http://www.amazon.com/Lost-A-Novel-Gregory-Maguire/dp/0060988649

Posted by: Smallish Bees at November 30, 2014 12:22 PM (t9WJ9)

265 Vic, in 2010 Elizabeth started a new series of books.  Oath of Fealty picks up right after Oath of Gold.  But now we follow Kieri, Arcolin, and Dorrin.  There are five books officially in the series.  Though she is working on a book about Cracolyna right now.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at November 30, 2014 12:24 PM (wU90H)

266 254 The only "classical" author I sometimes liked was Charles Dickens. The rest blew chunks.
Posted by: Vic at November 30, 2014 02:34 PM (u9gzs)
********************
I'm opposite. Loved the Greek and Roman and early English Classics. Did more reading of them on my own than was ever assigned. Against them, I thought Dickens blew chunks.

Posted by: I lurk, therefore I amn't at November 30, 2014 12:25 PM (TqyFL)

267 Hey, a 100 Hour Kindle Countdown for my Texas novel Pilot Point just began. You cheap morons can get it for only $1.99 for 100 hours here: http://www.amazon.com/Pilot-Point-Mark-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00O58USZU/ You're welcome.

Posted by: WannabeAnglican at November 30, 2014 01:39 PM (0un6u)

268 Late to the party, but on the subject of forcing boys to read ridiculous books: In my experience teaching, I have seen elementary school age boys who are grade levels behind in their reading and are being forced to trudge through "Sara, Plain and Tall". Why? Because some folks are completely clueless, apparently. The subject isn't a new one, and a previous iteration can be found in "A Plea for Old Cap Collier" by Irving S. Cobb. Gutenberg link: http://tinyurl.com/qfm89nv I highly recommend reading it. It also contains a hilarious dissection of Longfellow's "Excelsior".

Posted by: Taft at November 30, 2014 03:44 PM (d2FFC)

269 votermom,

Try 'Steelheart' by Brandon Sanderson.

Very fun book and my daughter (9th grade) loved it.

Posted by: phat at November 30, 2014 04:32 PM (/K6Oh)

270 votermom,

Another of my daughters favorites was 'Theft of Swords' by Michael J. Sullivan.

It's a great trilogy that she stayed up way too late reading.

Safe for YA readers.



Posted by: phat at November 30, 2014 04:49 PM (/K6Oh)

271 Whoops, it's next day! But I think "Moby Dick" blows chunks, to use the current parlance on the thread.

Posted by: Smallish Bees at December 01, 2014 05:01 AM (YPgXi)

272 I actually enjoyed Moby Dick when I read it for the first time a couple of years ago. The nautically-themed sermon by the preacher at the sailors' chapel in one of the early chapters was a real hoot.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 01, 2014 05:41 PM (7YP/5)

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