December 01, 2013

Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-01-2013: Gratitude [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


FirstThanksgiving500p-orig.jpg
The Old Thanksgiving

What Are You Thankful For?

Me, I'm thankful to God for my wife, the lovely Mrs. Muse, my children, and the fact that He has caused us to live in a prosperous, secure country. Even in these days where we're thinking that it's all falling apart, our lives are still more prosperous, comfortable, and secure than 99% of the people who have ever lived. Oh, there might have been a Pharaoh or two who had it better, but when I look at the sarcophagus of a long-dead king who the archeologists tell me died of an infection caused by an abscessed tooth, I realize we have something that all the mighty Pharaohs did not: dentistry.


Fat, Drunk, And Delusional Is No Way To Go Through Life, Son

OK, so I assume nobody's reading this because you're all out buying Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked by Chris Matthews, and can't wait to get it home to read it. Me, I think it's funny when I see those who call themselves "progressives" yearning for the supposed glories of a bygone golden age. But apparently Matthews couldn't lay off the scotch long enough to do the writing, because the book is a giant load of poo, at least according to this lefty professor who reviewed it for the NY Times, and really, if your book sucks so bad that even the true believers over at the Times can't stomach it, shouldn't you start thinking about packing it in?

Also, it always cracks me up when I hear lefties like Matthews bemoaning "incivility", as if their side didn't invent it, didn't expand it, and didn't propagate it at every opportunity. They think all the disgustingly vile rhetoric they've hurled continuously at every conservative starting with Goldwater and continuing on through Nixon, then Reagan, Gingrich, Bush, Palin, etc. has been flushed down the memory hole. I think what they mean by "incivility" is really "conservatives talking back".

And those of you who just can't get enough of Tingles will be pleased to hear that all of his books (and he's written more than I thought) have been bundled into one big, corpulent, wheezing, drunken Kindle collection, a complete steal at $69.99.

Thanks to moron commenter 'ontherocks' in last week's book thread for the tip.


FirstThanksgiving500p-rev.jpg
The New Thanksgiving

(I stole this week's artwork from http://www.mardecortesbaja.com)


More On Phreaking

A few weeks ago, I recommended the book Exploding the Phone, which is a history of the original phone hackers (or 'phreaks' as they were called back then) who figured out how to work the telephone system and make phone calls all over the world without paying for them. The book has a companion website including a download section that contains a number of the original technical articles the original phone phreaks used to learn how to hack the system.

The phreaking activity caught the attention of über-hippie Abbie Hoffman (author of Steal This Book) who started to publish the "Youth International Party Line" newsletter, which was packed full of tips and tricks to hack the telephone system. Unfortunately, the Exploding the Phone website doesn't have any copies of this newsletter, which I think is kind of odd, given the wealth of information it does have.

But, not to worry, a moron spent some time scouring the internet and discovered that some has scanned all the issues of this newsletter into one big PDF file. It is available here. (Or, here is the direct link to the PDF file itself).

That ought to keep you nerds busy for awhile.

Thanks to 'Hank Curmudgeon' for tipping me off to this, and for the links.


Books By Morons

I should have taken care of this last week, but alas, I have been remiss to mention that Celia "Sgt. Mom" Hayes' new book was released a few days ago. She describes the story as "a sort of adventure western, about two young Englishwomen, coming to Texas in 1876" or, if you will. "Mrs. Gaskell meets Zane Grey". The Quivera Trail is available on Nook and on Kindle, either one for $4.99.


___________

I received an email this week from a moronette who requested that I mention her husband's book, All American: Two Young Men, the 2001 Army-Navy Game and the War They Fought in Iraq by Steve Eubanks has been published. The 2001 edition of the annual Army-Navy football game, due to the 9/11 events, was the most watched ever, and the book describes how two young men, West Point cadet Chad Jenkins and Naval Academy midshipman Brian Stann, played against each other that day, and how they then met again ten years later in Iraq.

That other smart military blog, Blackfive.net, rates this book very high.


___________

A few months back, I mentioned the 'Dream' series by authorJ.J. DiBenedetto about a young girl and her adventures that result from her extraordinary ability to see into other people's dreams. All five novels in this series have been wrapped up into one Kindle package along with a new 'Dream' short story, for $7.99. Of course, the individual novels (Dream Student, Dream Doctor, Dream Child, Dream Family, and Waking Dream) can still be purchased individually.


___________

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

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

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:03 AM | Comments (134)
Post contains 947 words, total size 8 kb.

1 First with a review.

Posted by: [/i]andycanuck[/b] at December 01, 2013 06:04 AM (ZyZIo)

2 Success? Healthcare.gov Progress report released... http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/12/success-govenments-healthcaregov.html

Posted by: Steve at December 01, 2013 06:05 AM (Xn67h)

3 Matthews might want to look up the meaning of the verb 'to Bork.' It was invented by Ted Kennedy, the miserable fat Massachussetts cocksucker (like Chrissie himself) that colluded with the Russians against Reagan back in that 'era of civility.'

Posted by: --- at December 01, 2013 06:07 AM (MMC8r)

4 Army Navy this year on Dec 14. Go Army.

Posted by: blaster at December 01, 2013 06:08 AM (4+AaH)

5 Finished Enders Game and now working on the Belgeriad Series by David Eddings.  I just wish it was available for the Kindle.


And I am thankful that I am retired and have more time for books.

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 06:08 AM (YowqD)

6 I just got a belated-birthday present of The Great Escape: A Canadian Story about, oddly enough, RCAF personnel's role in the Great Escape. I haven't started reading it yet but just from the map on the endpapers I've already learned something new (and correcting something in the film): the three main tunnels were Tom, Dick and George and the Harry tunnel was just a minor one between two of the prisoners' barracks that led to the Tom tunnel.

Posted by: [/i]andycanuck[/b] at December 01, 2013 06:11 AM (ZyZIo)

7 >>It was invented by Ted Kennedy, the miserable fat Massachussetts cocksucker (like Chrissie himself) Point of order. Matthews is a miserable fat Philadelphia cocksucker.

Posted by: JackStraw at December 01, 2013 06:12 AM (g1DWB)

8 Well there is Kindle Buffet to peruse for reading filler.

NaNoWriMo concluded last night.  Pretty sure Gregory and Merovign crossed the finish line with words to spare.

I managed to finish at 50,548 words with 30 minutes before midnight.  Had also written 5,295 words on last day.  So a winner.  *yay*

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 06:12 AM (ofljX)

9 Might also want to put a link to the Kindle Buffet
http://www.weberbooks.com/kindle/

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 06:13 AM (ofljX)

10 Still finishing The Book Thief. Saw the second Hunger Games movie. Really enjoyed reading that trilogy with the kid. Vic, you heard any rumblings about the new president at wofford? I made the mistake of googling him.

Posted by: NCKate at December 01, 2013 06:14 AM (X/4E9)

11 10 Really enjoyed reading that trilogy with the kid. Vic, you heard any rumblings about the new president at wofford? I made the mistake of googling him.

Posted by: NCKate at December 01, 2013 11:14 AM (X/4E9)


No, I haven't seen my Wofford contact in quite a while.

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 06:15 AM (YowqD)

12
There are two big book discount coupons expiring today.

BN.com [Barnes and Noble]

Coupon: BFRIDAY30
Discount: 30% off 1 item
Expires: 12/1
Free ship on $25 order


Amazon.com

Coupon: BOOKDEAL
Discount: 30% off 1 book. $10 maximum discount
Expires: 12/1
Free ship on $35 order

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at December 01, 2013 06:16 AM (kdS6q)

13 I vaguely remember Johnny Carson having the equivalent of a phone hacker on the Tonight Show who could whistle in literally perfect pitch mimicking Bell's tone codes (or whatever they're called) so he could phone anywhere too, I assume for free.

Posted by: [/i]andycanuck[/b] at December 01, 2013 06:18 AM (ZyZIo)

14 Matthews' Hardball book was required reading for the kid's AP government class this year.

Posted by: NCKate at December 01, 2013 06:18 AM (X/4E9)

15 I'll be honest, I don't understand the appeal of David Eddings.

Posted by: BornLib at December 01, 2013 06:19 AM (zpNwC)

16 Started the first of the "Westerly Gales" series that was mentioned here a couple of times. Pretty good so far. I'm too ignorant of nautical terms to know if the're used accurately, but there sure are a lot of them.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:19 AM (GDulk)

17
Oh, there's also a printable version of that Barnes and Nobel coupon if you want to use it instore:

http://tinyurl.com/qdw4ymz

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at December 01, 2013 06:20 AM (kdS6q)

18 >>> Fat, Drunk, And Delusional Is No Way To Go Through Life, Son First delusional fat drunk to spring to my mind was AlGore.

Posted by: fluffy at December 01, 2013 06:20 AM (Ua6T/)

19 I finally finished up A Flowershop in Baghdad.   I read very little non-fiction but I enjoyed this book, in spite of it reminding me of how feckless the Dems and their volunteer P/R team in the MFM are.     I'm thankful the country still has many great patriots like retired Major Banzet. 

Posted by: PaleRider at December 01, 2013 06:21 AM (ql12X)

20 Whoa. That "Spirit of Christmas" is deeply .... moving.

Posted by: mrp at December 01, 2013 06:21 AM (HjPtV)

21 14 Matthews' Hardball book was required reading for the kid's AP government class this year. Posted by: NCKate at December 01, 2013 11:18 AM (X/4E9) Oh for the love of...

Posted by: BornLib at December 01, 2013 06:21 AM (zpNwC)

22 now working on the Belgeriad Series by David Eddings. I just wish it was available for the Kindle.

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 11:08 AM (YowqD)

Sure it is and if you check your e-mail you'll find you now have it.

Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 06:22 AM (l1SJO)

23 Fat, Drunk, And Delusional Is No Way To Go Through Life, Son

Two outta three's OK, right?


I've been reading a fictionalized treatment of the life of St. Paul by Walter Wangerin, a Lutheran minister and professor (never took any of his classes).   The story is being told from the perspective of several of his friends, and I'm struggling a little bit trying to follow along because there's a different narrator every six pages (why is Barnabas bitching about Barnabas?  Oh, this chapter is James...), but it's been interesting.  When you read through the letters you don't really think about the food or the realities of the travel...

Posted by: HeatherRadish™ at December 01, 2013 06:23 AM (hO8IJ)

24 >>> Pretty good so far. I'm too ignorant of nautical terms to know if the're used accurately, but there sure are a lot of them The author is Maritime Moron, so he most likely got them correct. Page turners. Is installment four out?

Posted by: fluffy at December 01, 2013 06:23 AM (Ua6T/)

25 Okay, I finished reading Frank-Kamenetzky's "Untersuchungen über das Verhältnis der dem Umajja b. Abi ṣ Ṣalt zugeschrieben Gedichte zum Qorān"; and Theodore Noeldeke's review of Friedrich Schulthess's collection of Umaija's poetry.

And by "read" I mean, "translated from German and edited" (bitchez!):
 http://tinyurl.com/qd8j6xc

Background: there's a lot of Arabic poetry running around the 600s and 700s AD; and some of this parallels the Qur'an. This is particularly true of Umayya's poems, which might even have provided material that the Qur'an plagiarised borrowed.

In the attempt to hash out the Koranic allusions, Ibn Warraq collected a bunch of classic essays into his book, er, "Koranic Allusions"; and about a third of the book concerns Umayya. But Ibn Warraq omitted these two essays - and his own essays #6 and #8 need them as context.

Ideally Schulthess's collection itself would be republished and re-edited in German and English, but that would take effort.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 01, 2013 06:23 AM (Nsoq9)

26 Good Morning Rons. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanks giving. I know I did. Golden Angel is progressing as I have crested 30K words. This week I read a very entertaining, interesting and titillating book called Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads. Imagine hundreds of pages of Morning MP4 writings, only relationship based and about writers. These people are FKD UP. From Lord Byron to Tennessee Williams you will see that they had no shortage of material based on personal experiences. It's lots of fun. I give it 5 stars for sheer entertainment value.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:25 AM (XIxXP)

27 The Kindle version of Sanderson's recently released fantasy YA novel, Steelheart, is only $2.49 right now http://t.co/lU1RQDplVi

Posted by: BornLib at December 01, 2013 06:27 AM (zpNwC)

28 Posted by: fluffy at December 01, 2013 11:23 AM (Ua6T/) #TwoWeeks, right? I think it was mentioned here in the last couple of weeks but I hadn't started the book yet so wasn't paying enough attention.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:27 AM (GDulk)

29 Also read: Spider Robinson, "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon". Not sure what the fuss is about. I couldn't get The Joke in the first story, about "Mickey Finn" the alien. The others were meh.

Ben Bova thought the world of Robinson but I'm not seeing why. I suppose "Saloon" was Robinson's debut, and those generally have hiccups, but Robinson wrote, what, half a dozen of these "Callahan" books.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 01, 2013 06:27 AM (Nsoq9)

30 26 Awesome. Looking forward to its eventual publication.

Posted by: BornLib at December 01, 2013 06:28 AM (zpNwC)

31 Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 11:25 AM (XIxXP) Lol. Part of Middlest Kidlets curriculum is to look up the authors of the poems in her reading book. She's come to the conclusion that poets are a group of extremely messed up people.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:29 AM (GDulk)

32 I hate the hand wringing over incivility in politics.  Newsflash, people had duels on the Mall over it.  I'd say we've made progress. 

Anyhoo, I've been reading fantasy almost exclusively.  The latest was "Seraphina" by Rachel Hartman.  It is set in a world where dragons can assume the shape of humans and both coexist in a tenuous peace.  Seraphina is a half-breed whose very existence threatens that peace.  I quite enjoyed it.  I also read Kelly Armstrong's latest.  I had trouble getting into it, but it was worth sticking with it after the first forty pages. 

Posted by: no good deed at December 01, 2013 06:29 AM (HsJeN)

33 22  Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 11:22 AM (l1SJO)


Thanks.  Where are you finding these at?

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 06:30 AM (YowqD)

34 Lol. Part of Middlest Kidlets curriculum is to look up the authors of the poems in her reading book. She's come to the conclusion that poets are a group of extremely messed up people. Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 11:29 AM (GDulk) OMG, you know it, she better keep the Bible handy so she can go back and forth to keep her mind right.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:30 AM (XIxXP)

35 23 ... I've been reading a fictionalized treatment of the life of St. Paul by Walter Wangerin, a Lutheran minister and professor (never took any of his classes). ... Wangerin's Book of the Dun Cow was one of my favorites. Great writer, and has a gift for making you see things in different ways. Didn't post this previously, but I'm thankful for this internet insane asylum we call the Moron Horde. Along with being funny as hell, I actually learn stuff from time to time here that's useful (particularly the book recs).

Posted by: RightWingProf at December 01, 2013 06:32 AM (ceOhI)

36 >>> 26 Awesome. Looking forward to its eventual publication Same here. "Would re-purchase from author"

Posted by: fluffy at December 01, 2013 06:33 AM (Ua6T/)

37 27 Or maybe it's sci-fi. I haven't read it yet. People have superpowers. It reminds me of Wild Cards except it is by a single author and I expect there is less lefty political bullshit in it.

Posted by: BornLib at December 01, 2013 06:33 AM (zpNwC)

38 Thanks. Where are you finding these at?

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 11:30 AM (YowqD)


I honestly don't remember exactly where. I have a usenet subscription for $8/mo that pays for itself 1000 times over. I also am a member of a trading forum.

Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 06:34 AM (l1SJO)

39 OSP take up the mirror on those lives and hold against yours?

Makes us look positively sane.  And we are in the same racket.

I think sushi and watching The Book Thief at the cinema are in order today.  Reward for all the writing this past month.  And to break the leftovers cycle.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 06:35 AM (ofljX)

40 Just finished The Goldfinch, excellent but crazy story about an art 'heist' of sorts. Love Donna Tartt's writing style. Currently reading "Summer of 1927" by Bill Bryson as a palate cleanser, looking for novel recommendations.... On audio, in hour 8 of the Audibles Chernow bio of George Washington, which is excellent too, except is is not divided into parts and it is hogging a huge amount of memory on my phone. Boo.

Posted by: Goldilocks at December 01, 2013 06:35 AM (FIMVX)

41 I don't read much other than AOSHQ these days. I read so much crap in connection with work that reading for pleasure doesn't appeal to me anymore.

Posted by: Insomniac at December 01, 2013 06:36 AM (UAMVq)

42 That second picture would be funny if it weren't for the single person left at the table. He makes me sad. At least they stripped the landscape to make their nice tables and chairs.

Posted by: t-bird at December 01, 2013 06:37 AM (FcR7P)

43 Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 11:30 AM (XIxXP) Fortunately she feels no desire to emulate them. She's also reading the memoir of a recent pastor in the Chinese underground church Which has been good for discussions about the difference between *legal* and moral.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:38 AM (GDulk)

44 Vic
I also have The Elenium, The Malloreon, The Tamuli series. Whenever you're ready. I haven't read any of them, but I have a very long to-read list.

Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 06:39 AM (l1SJO)

45 Finished The Last of the Just, some passages in there that will stay in my mind always.

Posted by: Mrs. Mittens at December 01, 2013 06:39 AM (h++DN)

46 So I roll out of bed ten minutes ago to find that my book ("The Best Congress Money Can Buy") just got featured by Instapundit as an "In the Mail"Â… I'm totally shocked. I sent that thing to him six months ago! But you Morons saw it first!

Posted by: Mastiff at December 01, 2013 06:40 AM (z/vPs)

47 I need a Moron or 'Ette to write a "Weird but True Stories of Texas". Son has been reading the one we got in Colorado but when we tried to find a similar book about Texas we were out of luck.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:41 AM (GDulk)

48 Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 01, 2013 11:27 AM (Nsoq9)

Read the first Crosstime Saloon book (based on recommendations here) and decided that was more than enough!

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 01, 2013 06:41 AM (XdnQT)

49 26 Awesome. Looking forward to its eventual publication Same here. "Would re-purchase from author" Posted by: fluffy at December 01, 2013 11:33 AM (Ua6T/) Thanks, that makes me feel good. I have a new muse. A friend from my former life of Skydiving. She was one of the women of which I based the Character of Amy Lynn. She was nearly killed after a skydiving accident left her wheelchair bound and without movement in most of her body. Not from the spinal cord but from some kind of nerve damage caused at Impact. Anyway all she has is an Ipad and two fingers. I didn't know she was that badly hurt until I wanted to call her and she typed back, "Can't Speak." She can't talk. You had to know this woman before to understand what a tragedy this was, A very successful Surgical Nurse and a world record holding Skydiver. Tall Blonde and nordic. Almost Intimidating with an attitude to match. I loved her then and I love her now. She was one of those very few women that a man would scrap his family over. Anyway. That's who I write for now.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:42 AM (XIxXP)

50 I'm in a major bout of reader's block here, folks. I've figured out that, not including things like blogs and individual essays and short stores, I've read something like 120 books a year for the past few years. (I know some of you are snorting with derision at such a paltry total, but let me talk.) And I feel like I just can't be bothered anymore, no matter how good what I'm reading is. Is there anything to do short of taking a break from reading for a while? What exactly do non readers do on public transport? (I refuse to listen to music on the bus, out of consideration for my fellow travellers.) That said, I'd like to hear someone's take on Max Hastings's latest, "Catastrophe" on the run up to and the first few months of WWI. The little vignettes are fascinating, as is the purely human element, but the page after page after page of military...stuff...made my eyes blur. (It's time to stop reading when you're skipping 20 plus pages at a time.) I'd like to see if it's my reader's block, if I'm just not interested in the military and/or if - as I was starting to suspect come page 150 or so - he was simply trying to fit too much into it. It was *all* the social, political, ethnic, military, strategic and much of the economic factors, over all the fronts, with all the notable people as well as huge numbers of, say, diaries and memoirs thrown in. He might have been better splitting it into separate books.

Posted by: Lizzie at December 01, 2013 06:42 AM (C11Oz)

51 I'm a big fan of historical fiction of the medieval variety, and I have enjoyed the Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell immensely and am anxiously waiting for the next installment to come out next month. 

In the meantime, I have begun reading the House of Niccolo series about a brilliant and ambitious dyer's apprentice in 15th century Europe by Dorothy Dunnett.  Lots of intrigue and action and the history is fascinating.  I am reading her novel of MacBeth, "King Hereafter" and it is as excellent as the others have been with a lot of rich detail and humor.

Posted by: huerfano at December 01, 2013 06:43 AM (bAGA/)

52 Posted by: Mastiff at December 01, 2013 11:40 AM (z/vPs) Congrats. Still need to read my copy. Politics has just been to *real* lately to be able to want to read even satire about it.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:43 AM (GDulk)

53 OSP take up the mirror on those lives and hold against yours? Makes us look positively sane. And we are in the same racket. Yep, and that's quite a feat to make us look sane.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:45 AM (XIxXP)

54 I'm a big fan of historical fiction of the medieval variety

Posted by: huerfano at December 01, 2013 11:43 AM (bAGA/)

I've been reading The Hangman's Daughter series by Oliver Potzsh. Takes place in Germany/Bavaria around 1660. I'm liking them (or else I wouldn't be on the third book)

Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 06:47 AM (l1SJO)

55 Posted by: Lizzie at December 01, 2013 11:42 AM (C11Oz) You can have readers burnout. BTW, I don't think 150 books is a paltry amount. What I do is I go 2 easy to read entertaining books to one hard core serious book. Gives my brain a rest and doesn't make reading a chore.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:49 AM (XIxXP)

56 Tip Oneil was a miserable bastard. It's no surprise that Matthews worked for him.

Posted by: Kreplach at December 01, 2013 06:50 AM (hmUex)

57 Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 11:34 AM (l1SJO)


I searched Amazon and they didn't have any on the Kindle for David Eddings.  I am beginning to wonder about them.

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 06:50 AM (YowqD)

58 I've been reading The Hangman's Daughter series by Oliver Potzsh. Takes place in Germany/Bavaria around 1660. I'm liking them (or else I wouldn't be on the third book) Posted by: Tunafish at December 01, 2013 11:47 AM (l1SJO) That sounds like a good read. I went nuts gushing over the blood letters daughter by Linda Lafferty. Well research stories from the Ottoman empire. sounds similar

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:51 AM (XIxXP)

59        Thanks to a paper I'm currently writing, I ordered "Slaver's Wheel" from Amazon last week and I highly recommend it.  It gets off to a bit of a slow start, but that doesn't last very long.  The book tells the story of Sully de Fontaine, a Belgian-born U.S. Special Forces officer who was the team leader for a small group of SF sent to the Congo in 1960.  With the help of some small aviation assets, Sully and his team rescued over 220 Americans and Europeans from the marauding gangs that were destroying Congo shortly after the departure of the Belgians.  Then it got really hairy when Sully went undercover, pretended to be a French Communist and was invited to be the bodyguard for Patrice Lumumba, the pro-Soviet Prime Minister of the Republic of Congo.  Sully hates Communism with a passion and is very blunt about the dangers of letting that odious ideology have a foothold in any nation.  Not the most polished book I've read, but definitely one of the most interesting from my point of view.


     From what I've found on the internet, de Fontaine is a Special Forces legend.  He fought as a volunteer with the British SOE in France and served with MACV-SOG in SE Asia during the late 1960s.  If the stories in "Slaver's Wheel" are true, that man has ice water running in his veins (yeah, he's still alive and is apparently is pretty good shape for a guy in his upper 80s.)  This is the kind of book I didn't mind spending the money for just due to the fact that it allows me to show my appreciation to a truly great American (who just happened to be born in Belgium, not his fault, right?)

      I had known a little about what happened in the Congo in 1960, but this book really opened my eyes to what was going on in the Third World back in the day.  Sadly, Congo is still paying the price for the arrogance and incompetence of the UN, Belgium and, most of all, the so-called "leaders" of the Congolese people.  Of course, it seems that people are starting to forget why Communism was rightly considered an "evil" ideology during the 20th century, so stand by for repeats of the Congo experience as more socialist demagogues grab power around the globe....

Posted by: Pave Low John at December 01, 2013 06:51 AM (mhmeG)

60 Polliwogette, have you see David Aikman's Jesus in Beijing book from 2003?  It talks about the official churches and the underground ones.  Along with cults and other groups.

As Beijing became determined to stamp out cults such as Falungong, several Christian groups found themselves labeled as an "evil religion" by the government.
-pg 237

For example there is Eastern Lightning which describes itself as a Christian sect.  It posits that Jehovah and Jesus left the job undone.  And a new Messiah who is Chinese and a woman is going to sweep away all corruption.  This sect is very militant as it attacks official Catholic churches and underground Catholic churches, official and underground Christian churches, has engaged in kidnappings, and even murder.  So not a sect but a genuinely scary cult.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 06:54 AM (ofljX)

61 56 Tip Oneil was a miserable bastard. It's no surprise that Matthews worked for him. Posted by: Kreplach at December 01, 2013 11:50 AM (hmUex) Compare and contrast Tip O'Neil to Daniel Moynihan. Heard Moynihan speak at the Rockford Institute and was very impressed by his rational attitude, especially to a bunch of libertarian/republican kids.

Posted by: Mustbequantum at December 01, 2013 06:55 AM (MIKMs)

62

Posted by: andycanuck at December 01, 2013 11:11 AM (ZyZIo)

 

Some interesting trivia about the movie The Great Escape.

 

Steve McQueen did not do the motorcycle jump scenes, they were done by his stunt double Bud Elkins (who also did some of the driving in Bullitt). McQueen played both Hilts and the German on the motorcycles during the motorcycle chase scenes. So he's chasing himself.

 

McQueen's character Hilts is partially based on USAAF pilot David M. Jones (as well as other POWs). Jones was one of the Doolittle Raiders. Shot down December, 1942 in North Africa and taken prisoner, he would get sent to Stalag Luft 3 and was appointed to the escape committee and took part in the tunnel digging. He and the other Americans in the camp were moved before the actual escape. Apparently he was as much a pain in the ass to the Germans in real life as in the movie.

 

Canadian pilot Wally Floody was POW in Stalag Luft 3 and was an advisor for the movie.

Posted by: ExSnipe at December 01, 2013 06:55 AM (57ubW)

63 For those interested in how the federal government grew into a behemoth with erosion of liberties and increasing centralization of government I've been reading a superb book, "The Last Days of Innocence" by Meirion and Susie Harries, subtitled America at War,1917-1918. It covers a staggering amount of material, from the poor physical condition of draftees to the widespread drug use at the time, race relations, immigration, etc. The reader reviews at Amazon will give you a better idea of the book than I can do with justice. Very readable also, not dry and academic.

Posted by: JHW at December 01, 2013 06:56 AM (OKpSE)

64 Argh! Artwork-borrowing link has beautiful nekkid wimmen at it! I'm trying to give up pr0n, damn it! 'Scuse me a sec.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at December 01, 2013 06:57 AM (Q8Wa9)

65

Thanks, OM - much appreciated the mention! (Late to the game here, as this is the busiest time of the year - either I am doing book and craft events, or resting up between them! Next Saturday, Christmas on the Square in beautiful historic downtown Goliad, Texas! Yay - three hour drive to and from, but I have a book to flog and fans to meet, and anyway, for the Goliad Christmas parade, Santa arrives riding on a tame longhorn...)

I am about done with Howard Blum - Dark Invasion, subtitled 1915-Germany's Secret War Against America. It's pretty good, about the German WWI secret squirrel activities aimed at disrupting American commerce and aid to the Allies during the time that America was 'technically' neutral. Lots of sabotage aimed at shipping out of the port of New York, and the scary part was that it was aided in a large part by resident German nationals in the US, some of whom had been here for a very long time and were thought to have been assimilated. The ostensible hero of the book is the head of the NYPD bomb squad, who rather backed into doing some secret squirrel stuff himself, and rather effectively too.

A Kindle collection of Chrissie 'Tingles' Matthews' commentaries for 69$??? Is his publisher out of their collective minds?

(Goldilocks @40 - enjoy Summer of 1927 - I read it last month and loved it!) 

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at December 01, 2013 06:57 AM (Asjr7)

66 "Antediluvian" by R M Huffman:

I got this from a note dropped in a book thread, that it was available for free on Kindle. I downloaded this then; got around to reading (most of) it on a 'plane.

Huffman has a real knack for action sequences with maybe even a nose for horror. The Leviathan is wet-your-pants scary. He also does well at building this youthful world. He is clearly a disciple of Robert Howard, the gold standard of raising up unholy monsters for heroes to beat down.

The world, in this case, is the world of the Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36) supplemented with related material, of which I detect the Dead Sea Scrolls and especially the so-called "Book of Giants". (Gilgamesh is one of the nephilim before the Flood in "Giants" and "Antediluvian"; in the canonical Akkadian tablets, he's afterward, and goes to interview Noah at one point.)

Accordingly, here, because this is when the word was new, there are potatoes and moas and dinosaurs right here in the ancient Near East. I take it that these dispersed to the Americas, New Zealand, and, er, Sheol as a result of the flood (I didn't get this far). Also everyone here seems to speak a similar language, which I assume is baseline Semitic.

Also angels. The point of the Enochian cycle is that, before the Flood, God charged angels to watch over us. They got corrupted and taught evils (like sorcery), and corrupted the whole planet. I'm not sure how this'll play out, but the fallen angels and their nephilim spawn are pretty formidable.

So I suppose one could complain that it is all "fundamentalist propaganda" or something. Well, phooey on that. Back to Howard, no-one is using the Hyborean Age as a school textbook. There is no reason you should either. Just enjoy the story.

(P.S. Some mistakes crept in: "nephilim" is a Canaanite plural, so Huffman really shouldn't use the singular.)

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 01, 2013 06:57 AM (Nsoq9)

67 Posted by: ExSnipe at December 01, 2013 11:55 AM (57ubW) Steve McQueen was a dude. The last of a breed of actor that wasn't always acting.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 06:58 AM (XIxXP)

68 " use the singular" -> use it as the singular, d'oh.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 01, 2013 06:58 AM (Nsoq9)

69 Bought 16 year old thunder The Ron Burgandy Story - I Wrote A Hell of a Book! Very dumb, but good photos

Posted by: Thunderb at December 01, 2013 06:59 AM (zOTsN)

70 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 11:54 AM (ofljX) Hadn't seen that one. Sounds like a Chinese Nationalist group wrapped in religious verbiage. Wonder just how upset Beijing is that the group's targets seem to be those that have been labeled government enemies.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 06:59 AM (GDulk)

71 Be civil to me and my President , you teabagging shitheads!

Posted by: typical delusional statist moonbat at December 01, 2013 07:02 AM (5ikDv)

72 The Art of Running in the Rain is a good gift book for dog lovers

Posted by: Thunderb at December 01, 2013 07:03 AM (zOTsN)

73 In the meantime, I have begun reading the House of Niccolo series about a brilliant and ambitious dyer's apprentice in 15th century Europe by Dorothy Dunnett.

She'll ruin you for other books for a while since her writing is so good. She makes you work but it's well worth it.

Do you know her Lymond Chronicles series? It may be slightly spoilerish to say but the two series tie together.


Posted by: Retread at December 01, 2013 07:03 AM (IiAs3)

74

Steve McQueen was a dude. The last of a breed of actor that wasn't always acting.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 11:58 AM (XIxXP)

 

I know this is the book thread, but what the heck. The motorcycle documentary "On Any Sunday" has McQueen riding bikes along side normal folk, which he seemed to be as well.

Posted by: ExSnipe at December 01, 2013 07:04 AM (57ubW)

75 Oh, there might have been a Pharaoh or two who had it better Bill Whittle absolutely destroyed that notion in hilarious fashion: first in an essay, which then became an Afterburner episode, comparing Ancient Egypt to a neighborhood 7-Eleven. wwwDOTyoutubeDOTcom/watch?v=J3VhzEAruMk And since this is the book thread, I'll plug his great book Silent America (which now seems to be out-of-print, but the original essays are still available at ejectejectejectDOTcom.)

Posted by: Paul at December 01, 2013 07:04 AM (5fGoS)

76 Argh! Artwork-borrowing link has beautiful nekkid wimmen at it! I'm trying to give up pr0n, damn it! 'Scuse me a sec. Yeah, sorry, I probably should have issued a 'NSFW' warning, but then all the morons would abandon the book thread to go ogle the nekkid wimmins. Also, whoever runs that site is not a fan of conservative politics.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 01, 2013 07:05 AM (fd0Pp)

77   By the way, I've read a decent number of David Eddings' books and they're...okay.  Kind of like potato chips, tasty but not that filling.  I kind of lump him in with Terry Brooks and Dennis McKiernan, fun swords 'n sorcery stuff that's worth the 2 or 3 bucks you spend at the used book store per copy. 

  Don't get me wrong, there are some things I enjoy about his work.  Eddings always give the reader happy endings (heh) and he has likeable characters, so that puts him ahead of George M.F. Martin in my book. 

Posted by: Pave Low John at December 01, 2013 07:05 AM (mhmeG)

78 It has been ages since I had read the whole book.  Just opened to a random page and that fell out.  Oh my. 

David M. Jones.  Pilot for Plane #5 of the Doolittle Raid.

A snippet from my NaNoWriMo
Yuki shakes her head as she has no time for being sentimental and transforms right there. Gone is the kimono or any traces of humanity. A celestial fox of blond fur with silver highlights stands on all fours beside the low table. Her tails fully fan out and almost touch the ceiling. While her muzzle opens to reveal pointed canines, fox fire seems to dance around her tails as she turns to face the front entry. The wards she crafted repulses the gaki's first attempt.

"Oh Inari-sama and Akomachi my mother, help me in this battle."

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 07:06 AM (ofljX)

79 Did you mean "The Art of Racing in the Rain," thunderb?  I didn't think I would like it as much as I did.  It's a very touching story.  (not the Harry Reid kind of touching)

Posted by: no good deed at December 01, 2013 07:06 AM (HsJeN)

80 "Oh Inari-sama and Akomachi my mother, help me in this battle." Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 12:06 PM (ofljX) Yep, thats you. Very nice.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 07:08 AM (XIxXP)

81 How is Texas treating you, Polliwog? Alas, no reading here. Too busy preparing for Christmas and the oldest Geniusette's 18th birthday. Plus all that senior-in-high-school stuff.

Posted by: Barb the Evil Genius at December 01, 2013 07:09 AM (WD0KF)

82 Don't get me wrong, there are some things I enjoy about his work. Eddings always give the reader happy endings (heh) and he has likeable characters, so that puts him ahead of George M.F. Martin in my book.

Posted by: Pave Low John at December 01, 2013 12:05 PM (mhmeG)



I like Eddings and I could not stand Martin.  My wife got me the first two of those Game of Thrones books in hardback.  It was a waste of money.  I wound up giving them to the library.

Posted by: Vic at December 01, 2013 07:10 AM (YowqD)

83 Back to writing. Love use guys and have a great day.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 07:11 AM (XIxXP)

84 I'm thankful that the Obamacare website is finally fixed.

Posted by: garrett at December 01, 2013 07:11 AM (oyGXd)

85 46 So I roll out of bed ten minutes ago to find that my book ("The Best Congress Money Can Buy") just got featured by Instapundit as an "In the Mail"Â… I'm totally shocked. I sent that thing to him six months ago! But you Morons saw it first! Posted by: Mastiff at December 01, 2013 11:40 AM (z/vPs) Yep, and it was great.

Posted by: BornLib at December 01, 2013 07:12 AM (zpNwC)

86 Steve McQueen did not do the motorcycle jump scenes, they were done by his stunt double Bud Elkins (who also did some of the driving in Bullitt). McQueen played both Hilts and the German on the motorcycles during the motorcycle chase scenes. So he's chasing himself. It's Ekins. Super famous rider in the 60s. And the studio wouldn't let McQueen do the jump, otherwise it would have been him. My father used to race with him & said McQueen was capable.

Posted by: bebe's boobs destroy at December 01, 2013 07:12 AM (p/lW3)

87 Posted by: Barb the Evil Genius at December 01, 2013 12:09 PM (WD0KF) Pretty well. At least "cold" here doesn't come with eight inches of snow like my hometown got. Hope the Geniusette's birthday is fun for all.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 01, 2013 07:13 AM (GDulk)

88 Been on a Larry Correia kick lately - he's a Mormon ex-accountant/ex-gun dealer/ex-milk farmer with as he puts it "authority issues". His Monster Hunter International and Grimnoir Chronicles series are some of the best stuff I've read in years - lots of explosions, snarky dialogue, conservative/libertarian sentiments, and good writing. Better yet - the guy is a writing machine - he'll probably turn out 2 books a year.

Posted by: RightWingProf at December 01, 2013 07:15 AM (ceOhI)

89 It was invented by Ted Kennedy, the miserable fat Massachussetts cocksucker I hope, with every prayer I can muster ,that that fucking piece of useless filth is roasting at 1000 F while being simultaneously ass-raped by a Saturn V with all the F-1's at full thrust and have to listen to an endless loop of "Love to Love ya, Baby..." Despicable, sub-human fuck.......

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Rounding Error Extraordinaire at December 01, 2013 07:18 AM (ftUE1)

90 Proud mom here. My 12 year old son finished the young writers portion of NaNoWriMo on Tuesday night. They have lower word count goals for that, his was 30,000. And, just to make us grown-ups doing it feel bad, he did that in just 10 days because when he was at his dad's house he couldn't write. His efforts shamed me into getting cracking myself and I just squeaked by last night with 50,102 words.

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at December 01, 2013 07:19 AM (RZ8pf)

91 an endless loop of "Love to Love ya, Baby Now that's just unnecessarily cruel.

Posted by: Insomniac at December 01, 2013 07:20 AM (UAMVq)

92 For those reading book thief or who saw it in the theater, can you rate how sad it is for me? Is it like a couple sobs but lovely story anyway or is it gut wrenching curl up in a ball and cry for hours sad?

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at December 01, 2013 07:21 AM (RZ8pf)

93 She'll ruin you for other books for a while since her writing is so good. She makes you work but it's well worth it.

Do you know her Lymond Chronicles series? It may be slightly spoilerish to say but the two series tie together.


Posted by: Retread at December 01, 2013 12:03 PM



I haven't read the Lymond Chronicles, but I plan to do so when I finish the Niccolo books.  I did read her wiki bio and did know the series were linked, no worries on the spoilers.  She was a wonderful writer.

Posted by: huerfano at December 01, 2013 07:21 AM (bAGA/)

94 Posted by: Lizzie at December 01, 2013 11:42 AM (C11Oz) When this happens to me, I generally go back and re-read books that I adored from my childhood. Kind of helps get the wonder and magic back. Swiss Family Robinson works especially well for me, but Laura Ingalls Wilder, Elizabeth Enright and Louisa May Alcott also do the trick. Miss y'all!

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at December 01, 2013 07:23 AM (KsM/z)

95

My father used to race with him & said McQueen was capable.

 

Posted by: bebe's boobs destroy at December 01, 2013 12:12 PM (p/lW3)

 

No way! (and then you'll say, Yes way!) That's neat. There's a neat website The Selvedge Yard that has a bunch of McQueen pages.

 

http://tinyurl.com/p4vtjtb

Posted by: ExSnipe at December 01, 2013 07:25 AM (57ubW)

96 OT: The new AP Top 25 is out headlined by: 1. Fla St 2. Ohio State 3. Auburn 4. Alabama 5. Missouri So, yeah! Let's reward the teams that puss out and don't play anyone. I look forward to FSU's crushing of Duke in the ACC title game, followed by a 400-0 home opener next year against Houston Community College. /End pointless rant

Posted by: Blacksheep at December 01, 2013 07:25 AM (bS6uW)

97 Hey Tammy!!  How is?

Well PGiS I am about to go watch a matinee showing of The Book Thief.  I see Rotten Tomatoes is giving it a 47%.  Plus reviews that love it and others that hate it.

Catch everyone later.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 01, 2013 07:25 AM (ofljX)

98 Ms Tammy! How are you? You head to your Mom's for turkey day?

Posted by: bebe's boobs destroy at December 01, 2013 07:26 AM (p/lW3)

99  @88

      Yeah, I have just about everything Larry Correia has ever written (I'm thinking of ordering one of these "MHI" patches for Christmas, too.)   What's really funny is that my wife loves his books and she is most definitely not a gun nut (too loud) or libertarian (completely bored by politics). 

   That's probably the mark of a good writer, when people that you wouldn't think of as being members of your core audience still love your books. 

Posted by: Pave Low John at December 01, 2013 07:26 AM (mhmeG)

100 No way! (and then you'll say, Yes way!) That's neat. Yeah, and he was a normal guy. Sit around & have a beer after the race like everybody else. There was somebody else that was famous that was racing then too that he said was a dick, but I can't remember who it was.

Posted by: bebe's boobs destroy at December 01, 2013 07:29 AM (p/lW3)

101 Also, whoever runs that site is not a fan of conservative politics.

I got the opposite impression:
http://www.mardecortesbaja.com/2013/11/19/mud/

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 01, 2013 07:30 AM (Nsoq9)

102 Yeah, and he was a normal guy. Sit around & have a beer after the race like everybody else. There was somebody else that was famous that was racing then too that he said was a dick, but I can't remember who it was. Posted by: bebe's boobs destroy at December 01, 2013 12:29 PM (p/lW3) Paul Newman

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 01, 2013 07:30 AM (XIxXP)

103 Last Vegas was a fun movie.  Great cast.

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at December 01, 2013 07:32 AM (XO6WW)

104

I'm a big fan of historical fiction of the medieval variety

Posted by: huerfano at December 01, 2013 11:43 AM (bAGA/)

 

You might like the Cadfael series.  It's about a   12th century Benedictine monk who solves mysteries.

Posted by: Ook at December 01, 2013 07:36 AM (FBkKA)

105 101 Also, whoever runs that site is not a fan of conservative politics. I got the opposite impression: http://www.mardecortesbaja.com/2013/11/19/mud/ If you go back far enough into the older posts, when he's not posting pretty pictures or satire, around the time of the fight over closing the government, he's got a number of anti-conservative/Tea Party rants, whom he accuses of trying to "destroy the government".

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 01, 2013 07:43 AM (fd0Pp)

106 Re Muse's comment about being thankful for dentistry: Elizabeth I had bad teeth..very bad. I believe a horribly abscessed tooth one one of the contributing factors in her death. We are used to seeing portraits of her dressed in the finest of gowns and dripping with jewels but in reality, from what I've read, I'm guessing her breath alone could have sunk the Armada. Thank you to whoever recommended "The Reach of Rome" by Alberto Angela. Enjoying the travels of a lone Roman coin as it changes hands and makes its way though the Empire during the reign of Trajan.

Posted by: Tuna at December 01, 2013 07:46 AM (M/TDA)

107 Since God has allowed me to be reduced to the essentials, I'm grateful for those essentials. BTW, OM, I have a new email. Talk to ya later, Horde!

Posted by: baldilocks at December 01, 2013 08:01 AM (GiUnc)

108 "From what I've found on the internet, de Fontaine is a Special Forces legend. He fought as a volunteer with the British SOE in France and served with MACV-SOG in SE Asia during the late 1960s."

The loss rate for SOG operatives was terrifyingly high. I am still stunned that men continued to volunteer to take those missions once the risk profile became clear.

SOE in World War II were inserting operators into the French countryside where there were lots of places to hide, relatively easy access to food, and where there weren't that many Nazi soldiers about. The maquis had a relatively well developed support infrastructure from which SOE benefited, and ran concealed rural camps in which to lay up.

SOG were dropping patrols in the middle of nowhere in the wilderness with battalion sized North Vietnamese regular army units infesting the whole place. Damn few hiding places, no friendlies and not a lot to eat.

Posted by: torquewrench at December 01, 2013 08:03 AM (gqT4g)

109 All the portraits of Elizabeth I, even for private ownership, were produced from state-issued templates.

Posted by: [/i]andycanuck[/b] at December 01, 2013 08:15 AM (ZyZIo)

110

"This week I read a very entertaining, interesting and titillating book called Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads." That sounds like a fun read. Many famous writers had really f'ed personal lives.

 

I intend to order Daniel Hannan's new book about the Anglosphere and how it basically created freedom.

Posted by: Donna V. at December 01, 2013 08:16 AM (R3gO3)

111 Moron and Rantburg.com editor has released Vol 3 in his series on the Mexican Cartel Drug Wars - Wounded Eagle
at http://thewoundedeagle.chriscovert.net/

Posted by: Frank G at December 01, 2013 08:22 AM (hJ9bd)

112 Read 'The Manual of Detection: A Novel' by Jedediah Berry, which is a dream-like mystery novel. It starts somewhat normally where the clerk for a detective in a detective agency has to go seek him out when he goes missing, but it gets more and more surreal and moves into the realm of fantasy. There's a lot of sleep-walking, sleep-driving, dreaming, etc. before our amateur sleuth solves the mystery. A very enjoyable read, hope the author writes another book soon.

Posted by: waelse1 at December 01, 2013 08:23 AM (HJ/op)

113 Hope it's another 50 years before we're inundated with JFK glorification bullshit books.  Or maybe one could be written discussing what a pack of miserable turds the entire Kennedy bunch was (and is.)

Posted by: Libra at December 01, 2013 08:33 AM (GblmV)

114 There is a notable connection between the Phone Phreaks of yore and writing. The most famous of the Phreaks was known as Captain Crunch, after a whistle from a cereal box that produced a very useful tone. His real name is John Draper and he created the first word processor for microcomputers, Electric Pencil.

Posted by: Epobirs at December 01, 2013 08:45 AM (bPxS6)

115 51 I love anything medieval too. I think the Saxon Chronicles is a fine series. Can't wait for the next installment. His Archers Tale series is also worth taking a look at. Here are a couple of other good tales by other authors: "Something Red" by Douglas Nicholas. This one is the 1st in a series. 2nd coming out next year. "When Christ and His Saints Slept" by Sharon Kay Penman. About England's first civil war . " In a Dark Wood Wandering" by Hella Haasse. Translated from Dutch. I read this many years ago. Remember it fondly "The Greatest Knight" by Elizabeth Chadwick. About the amazing William Marshal. BTW, if any medieval figure deserves his own TV mini series, it's William Marshal. He lived an extraordinary life. "Katherine" by Anya Seton. About Katherine Swynford and John An interesting take on the despised Richard III : " The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey

Posted by: Tuna at December 01, 2013 08:46 AM (M/TDA)

116 Just read The Savior Generals by V. D. Hanson. Sucked me right in, I like history, and this was a different view of these 5 generals. Not incredibly in depth, but interesting enough to pique my interest and read further.

Posted by: PMRich at December 01, 2013 08:55 AM (x/BtJ)

117 That said, I'd like to hear someone's take on Max Hastings's latest, "Catastrophe" on the run up to and the first few months of WWI.

Posted by: Lizzie at December 01, 2013 11:42 AM (C11Oz)


After WWI ground to a halt, the "scholarship" on the subject, especially in the West, focused primarily on fixing all of the blame for the start of the war on Germany and Austria-Hungary.  As Winston Churchill once said "History shall be kind to me, for I intend to write it." Hastings is a traditionalist in this regard, and ignores a lot of information in order to continue to toe the time-honored British party line.  Germany and Austria were by no means innocent, but they had a lot of help in getting the ball rolling.

As far as Hastings' multi-front narrative goes, I believe that you are correct that he attempts to cover too much ground in one volume, and would have been better off with three books, one on the diplomatic run-up to war, one on the West Front and one on the the East Front.  That might have been hard to sell to a publisher, however, even in the run-up to the centennial.

Posted by: HTL at December 01, 2013 09:45 AM (d6iMX)

118 I just finished reading "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson. Powerful book, praised by experts for the realistic portrayal of life in North Korea. It will make you thankful that even though we live in a banana republic under our Dear Leader, at least he hasn't gone off the deep end. Yet.

Posted by: keninnorcal at December 01, 2013 10:05 AM (ng9uL)

119 "14 Matthews' Hardball book was required reading for the kid's AP government class this year.

Posted by: NCKate at December 01, 2013 11:18 AM (X/4E9)"



That book is not a complete waste of time.  There is a part in that book where Matthews talks about how a reporter he thought was a friend betrayed him by publishing something that he thought was part of a friendly conversation causing Matthews some significant embarrassment.  Matthews goes on to write about how early in the career of every reporter successful enough to be in Washington they are sent to the home of some poor victim who has just died in some horrible fashion and required to come back with a tear stained photograph to be published.  If the reporter cannot put aside all human decency and wheedle, deceive or browbeat the grieving family into providing the photograph, that is essentially the end of the reporter's career.  If the reporter makes his or her bones with the picture, it is on to bigger and better things.



I often think about people that Chris Matthews finds to so depraved as to be remarkable whenever I see a panel of distinguished journalists talking about their ethics.



And whenever somebody like Chris Matthews laments the loss of civility in politics today, I am tempted to send him a "Sarah Palin is a cunt" coffee mug and t-shirt set which are still available for sale on the internet.

Posted by: Obnoxious A-hole at December 01, 2013 10:44 AM (BcCwi)

120 "Germany and Austria were by no means innocent, but they had a lot of help in getting the ball rolling."



Given that French President Poincarre was in Moscow during the time that the diplomatic dispute between Austria and Serbia transitioned into a hot war and that Poincarre hoped that France would reclaim the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine that it had lost in the Franco-Prussian War if another European war broke out with France allied with Britain and Russia and given that when Poincarre returned to Paris boasting, "This war, I did that!", it seems that perhaps the theory that World War I was entirely the fault of Germany and Austria might be an inadequate explanation.

Posted by: Obnoxious A-hole at December 01, 2013 10:52 AM (BcCwi)

121 WRT the Hastings book, he did seem unusually eager to make every single thing the fault of the Germans. I found myself thinking, very frequently, in the parts dealing with the runup, "but that was the Austrians' fault, surely?" (Or, slightly less often, about the Russians or French.) I'm more on the revisionist camp of more or less equal responsibility* and the constant struggle to make everything Germany's fault grated. Even if Hastings couldn't justify 3 separate books to a publisher, he could've split it into 3 discrete sections - his reflections on the runup are relentlessly one sided, sure, but they're easily the best part. It's badly put together. *Which is odd, because I hatehatehated "The Sleepwalkers", by Christopher Clark. Got about 50 pages in before the vicious anti Russian, anti Slav racism (and ass kissing of Islam) made me return it to the library in disgust. Really, you're better off reading people like James Joll or Annika Mombauer. Strangely (considering they're primarily academics rather than historians), they're more readable because of their experience writing, say, introductory textbooks.

Posted by: Lizzie at December 01, 2013 11:10 AM (C11Oz)

122 "Strangely (considering they're primarily academics rather than historians), they're more readable because of their experience writing, say, introductory textbooks." Ugh. I meant "primarily academics rather than journalists". Long day.

Posted by: Lizzie at December 01, 2013 11:11 AM (C11Oz)

123 I've been off reading several articles at Gates of Vienna about Diana West's book "American Betrayal". I have not yet read her book, but it sounds like a barn-burner. It's about Communist infiltration in the U.S. government during the 1930s and 40s, and it has apparently struck a nerve, because it has received savage criticism, some from unexpected quarters. Here are several links at GoV. "Planet X" is my favorite. http://gatesofvienna.net/2013/09/American-betrayed-part-1/ http://gatesofvienna.net/2013/11/american-betrayed-part-2-planet-x/ http://gatesofvienna.net/2013/12/an-addled-barroom-brawler/ http://gatesofvienna.net/2013/11/bukovsky-and-stroilov-american-betrayal-will-make-history/ I'm definitely going to have to check out this book. It sure sounds like she's on the right track.

Posted by: rickl at December 01, 2013 11:26 AM (sdi6R)

124 The hubby and I bought each other the new Paperwhite.  I wanted get a covers to protect them, but the selection at Amazon was boring.  I ran across this website during the hunt.  I think these make a very nice gift.  http://oberondesign.com/

Posted by: no good deed at December 01, 2013 11:30 AM (HsJeN)

125 Hmm. I looked at Amazon, and her book has 120 five-star reviews and 20 one-star reviews. That's a pretty reliable sign of a struck nerve somewhere. http://tinyurl.com/oc3g2m5

Posted by: rickl at December 01, 2013 11:54 AM (sdi6R)

126 I will give an enthusiastic endorsement to Celia Hayes's "The Quivera Trail". It is a real page turner. I bought it on the Saturday before last and finished it on the following Sunday. She creates believable and engaging characters and displays a deep knowledge of the territory and history she is writing about.

Posted by: John F. MacMichael at December 01, 2013 01:41 PM (svNQG)

127 6 I just got a belated-birthday present of The Great Escape: A Canadian Story about, oddly enough, RCAF personnel's role in the Great Escape. .... Posted by: andycanuck at December 01, 2013 11:11 AM (ZyZIo) That is a right interesting sub-story, and one that I was able to talk about in my last book, "Speaking ill of the Dead: Jerks n Georgia History." ( http://tinyurl.com/qhzjwem ) George Harsh was a bored rich college student in 1920s Atlanta, who turned to armed robbery and murder "for the thrills" (by his own admission), and ended up on one of the worst of the Georgia chain gangs, saved from a sentence of execution by his high-powered lawyers. Through some unlikely events, he ended up released and pardoned right on the eve of WWII, moving on to Canada in what I believe was a passive suicide attempt, volunteering for the most dangerous job he could find - tail turret gunner on an RAF Halifax crew. He was shot down in October 1942, placed in Stalag Luft III and soon was swept up in the "escape committee." He only survived the subsequent "Great Escape" by being transferred to another POW camp shortly before the breakout. Harsh wrote a somewhat unsatisfying autobiography in 1971, "Lonesome Road" ( http://tinyurl.com/pe5ck62 ), taking responsibility for all his crimes, but providing few details of all the fun stuff. Worth the read, though, and it would make a whale of a movie in its own right.

Posted by: John the Baptist at December 01, 2013 02:08 PM (VZ7+N)

128 Calling Nixon a conservative is absurd. Anybody remember wage and price controls?

Posted by: Ken at December 01, 2013 02:22 PM (AIqhU)

129 I know the thread is dead, but I have to put this somewhere. I was looking forward to reading a true crime book about an "angel of mercy" nurse who liked to kill people until, on the first page, I read "an aortic artery" as a description of a freeway. Shouldn't some literary crimes merit the death penalty?

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 01, 2013 03:01 PM (B7YN4)

130 I will give an enthusiastic endorsement to Celia Hayes's "The Quivera Trail". It is a real page turner.

I'm glad to hear that. I bought the Kindle version this morning and am looking forward to getting immersed.

Posted by: Ceylon at December 01, 2013 04:22 PM (IiAs3)

Posted by: Vic at December 02, 2013 01:22 AM (YowqD)

132 There seems to be another misunderstanding perpetrated about Thanksgiving much like veterans day.  People are quite willing to piss on God, Country, Tanks and our veterans for little other reason than Obama and the demorats want them to, BUT one day of the year they are willing to set aside to show the aforementioned respect.  Unfortunately for the nation, God doesn't appreciate being shoved to the back of the bus and urinated on the other 364 days of the year, consequences are here and its gonna get A LOT WORSE.

Posted by: ron n. at December 02, 2013 01:36 AM (c7HxG)

133 There was a wonderful memorial for Bud Ekins at the Warner Bros studios in Burbank - open invitation to anyone on a motorcycle! Table after table of Open Bars and Catered Eats of Quality. Quite the Wake. Memorials from his family, Jay Leno, motorcycle industry figures. A tribute reel on the big screen. Many classic & antique bikes ridden, not trucked in, attending. All in the small town streets back lot at Warner's. Thank you, and God Speed, Bud.

Lee Marvin & Keenan Wyn also rode for fun and competition.

Catalina Grand Prix - http://tinyurl.com/ny6mh78

Posted by: K,tnx,bye at December 02, 2013 09:23 AM (RPDkq)

134

Reading the comment about dentistry, I beg to differ, if you have medical, at the present time dental insurance for permanently disabled adults is NOT covered! Additionally hearing benefits for same have been severely cut! Does this mean that disabled adults will go the way of the Egyptian kings? What does obamacare do for them? Also under medical there is a limit of six different  prescriptions per month. Any extra prescriptions require time consuming approval including antibiotics.Those who cannot provide for themselves are stepped on and ignored because not only are they hard of hearing they are mute. If Medicare and medical benefits will not serve our neediest Americans how much will the poor really benefit?

Posted by: terri durham at December 02, 2013 08:07 PM (+lc1X)

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