December 29, 2013

Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-29-2013: In the Winter [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


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

Christmas Gifts

So, what books did all you 'rons and 'ettes find under the Christmas Tree this year? Me, I didn't get any, but the lovely Mrs. Muse did give me a $25 Amazon gift card for Kindle purchases. But elsewhere in the Muse household, my daughter-in-law gave my son, who considers himself a connoisseur of booze, a hardback copy of The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart. From the Amazon blurb:

Peppered with fascinating facts and well-chosen anecdotes, Amy Stewart’s brisk tour of the origin of spirits acquaints the curious cocktail fan with every conceivable ingredient. Starting with the classics (from agave to wheat), she touches on obscure sources--including a tree that dates to the dinosaur age--before delving into the herbs, spices, flowers, trees, fruits, and nuts that give the world’s greatest drinks distinctive flavors. Along the way, you’ll enjoy sidebars on bugs in booze and inspired drink recipes with backstories that make lively cocktail party conversation.

My daughter received The Rabbi's Cat, by French cartoonist Joann Sfar, which is a graphic novel about, well, a rabbi's cat. It's hard to talk about a book like this without giving away too much, but I think this Amazon summation is the right amount of informative without straying into Spoilerville:

A slinky gray cat lives with a rabbi and his beautiful young daughter. One day, the feline eats their parrot, only to find that he has gained the bird's ability to talk. Witty and highly intelligent, the cat immediately decides that he wants to learn more about Judaism, from the Kabbalah to the Torah.

I read this one yesterday. It was OK. There's a sequel out, too.


War on Christmas Christians

The RINO stylings of Hotair's Ed Morrissey gets him routinely booed, rasberried, and mooned here at the AoSHQ. His nickname, "Poppin' Fresh", was not bestowed out of affection. But, occasionally, he does come out with some good stuff. Like this piece here, which refers to this Fox News piece by Juan Williams (who also routinely gets booed, rasberried, and mooned here at the AoSHQ) on worldwide persecution of Christians. Ed added a reference to a book on this subject, The Global War on Christians by John Allen, that looks worthwhile.

Ed writes:

Allen’s book provides a well-reasoned, well-sourced wake-up call for Christians, especially in the West, where persecution is so rare that we tend to argue more about Christmas creches than the crushing of Christian populations...

Allen says there are a number of myths about Christian persecution that need to be debunked:

The Myth That Christians Are at Risk Only Where They’re a Minority
The Myth That No One Saw It Coming
The Myth That It’s All About Islam
The Myth That It’s Only Persecution if the Motives Are Religious
The Myth That Anti-Christian Persecution Is a Political Issue

Ed summarizes:

Allen’s book shines a much-needed light on those martyrs and the suffering of Christians around the world. If readers are interested in a real war on Christian beliefs and way of life, be sure to pick up The Global War on Christians, and make it a stocking stuffer for your friends and family.


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AoSHQ Book Club?

Question: Would you participate in a book club where we would find a book to read and discuss? In other words, we would:

1. Decide on a book
2. Read it
3. Discuss it

That's all the details I have right now. I haven't decided anything, yet. I'm just trying to gauge the general interest.


New eBook Service

This article in the online LA Times announces the launching of a new eBook site, Entitle.

People who sign up with Entitle pay a monthly fee and get a few books a month -- two books for $14.99, three for $21.99, and four books for $27.99.

Amazon has a lending library for Kindle readers, but this subscription service is different: the monthly subscriber fee is for purchases, not rentals. So it's more like those old book-of-the-month clubs (are they even still around?). I know there use to be a conservative book-of-the-month club that I was a member of back in the day, where you had to buy 'x' books a year. And you'd have to return a 'no thank you card' every month, otherwise they'd send you the featured book-of-the-month club selection and automatically bill you for it.

With many eBooks these days going for $15 and higher, this might not be a good deal for some of you morons in the Horde who are voracious readers. Me, I'm tempted, but I don't read so fast, so I'm afraid the books I buy will just accumulate into a big virtual pile - and my book stack is big enough already.


Year End Thanks

First of all, I would like to thank ace, our landlord, without whose constant efforts this blog would not be the fun, informative, place that it is, and also for letting me contribute to it. It's always fun to get e-mail from someone I've never heard of before telling me they enjoyed a book they read because of a recommendation they picked up from one of the moron horde.

And thanks to all you 'rons and 'ettes who come to this thread week after week with all your comments and book recommendations. I think the recommendations are what the book thread is all about. Which is why I have included links to all the 2013 book threads. By only bookmarking one link, everyone can have easy access to all the threads, and a royal boatload of book recommendations. So you can never complain about having nothing to read.


Book Thread 01-06-2013
Book Thread 01-13-2013
Book Thread 01-20-2013
Book Thread 01-27-2013
Book Thread 02-03-2013
Book Thread 02-10-2013
Book Thread 02-17-2013
Book Thread 02-24-2013
Book Thread 03-03-2013
Book Thread 03-10-2013
Book Thread 03-17-2013
Book Thread 03-24-2013
Book Thread 03-31-2013
Book Thread 04-07-2013
Book Thread 04-14-2013
Book Thread 04-21-2013
Book Thread 04-28-2013
Book Thread 05-05-2013
Book Thread 05-12-2013
Book Thread 05-19-2013
Book Thread 05-26-2013
Book Thread 06-02-2013
Book Thread 06-09-2013
Book Thread 06-16-2013
Book Thread 06-23-2013
Book Thread 06-30-2013
Book Thread 07-07-2013
Book Thread 07-14-2013
Book Thread 07-21-2013
Book Thread 07-28-2013
Book Thread 08-04-2013
Book Thread 08-11-2013
Book Thread 08-18-2013
Book Thread 08-25-2013
Book Thread 09-01-2013
Book Thread 09-08-2013
Book Thread 09-15-2013
Book Thread 09-22-2013
Book Thread 09-29-2013
Book Thread 10-06-2013
Book Thread 10-13-2013
Book Thread 10-20-2013
Book Thread 10-27-2013
Book Thread 11-03-2013
Book Thread 11-10-2013
Book Thread 11-17-2013
Book Thread 11-24-2013
Book Thread 12-01-2013
Book Thread 12-08-2013
Book Thread 12-15-2013
Book Thread 12-22-2013
Book Thread 12-29-2013

___________


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 05:38 AM | Comments (173)
Post contains 1199 words, total size 11 kb.

1 Still working on the last of the Wheel of Time series.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at December 29, 2013 05:40 AM (T2V/1)

2 Hello? Anyone home?


Posted by: RB3 at December 29, 2013 05:40 AM (oraDD)

3 I got my dad the newest PJ O'Rourke book "The Baby Boom, and why it's not my fault, and I'll never do it again" He seems to enjoy it.

Posted by: nnptcgrad at December 29, 2013 05:40 AM (Opyrm)

4 Re: Book Club. Getting a Group to decide on a book is hard. Been there, done that. Better to get 2-3 "Reader-Leaders" to decide on the book, and provide a few provocative questions/themes that the Commentariat 'rons and 'ronettes can riff on.

Posted by: I Am Partacusp at December 29, 2013 05:42 AM (l5fCd)

5 Gee, where are the wise-asses?

Posted by: backhoe at December 29, 2013 05:42 AM (ULH4o)

6 Just finished Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History by Le Couteur and Burreson. Still plowing through The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 29, 2013 05:42 AM (u82oZ)

7 My mother gave me this: http://tinyurl.com/ozcxg95 It's the Graham Greene File Reader. It's nothing I"m going to read through from end to end, but I've already gone through a couple of the essays and a bit of the interviews, and Greene is as readable when speaking on movies as he is in his fiction. He does display his own brand of anti-Americanism that was purely driven by how America acted in Indochina in the early to mid 50s, but I'm not entirely bothered by him having a negative reaction to that instead of having a basic distaste for the American ideals. I'd also be interested in a book club, but I do think we'd need another format than the actual HQ format. Maybe something that uses Disqus or something. Just a thought...

Posted by: David at December 29, 2013 05:43 AM (6Oj/Y)

8 I generally will not pay more than #10 for an e-book.  There is no reason an e-book should cost more than $5 except for greedy publishers who want to sell hard back books.,

Posted by: Vic[/i] at December 29, 2013 05:44 AM (T2V/1)

9 *Film Reader

Posted by: David at December 29, 2013 05:45 AM (6Oj/Y)

10 I got the Monster Hunter trilogy edition, and am about halfway through the middle book. Many thinks to the folks who recommended it -- it's great! I want Franks' SUV from Hell. I want it, I want it, I want it!

Posted by: Empire1 at December 29, 2013 05:47 AM (mq9Je)

11 Gun thread is up now.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at December 29, 2013 05:48 AM (T2V/1)

12 Read another Daniel Woodrell book this week, "Ride With the Devil" which was released after the movie of the same name to take advantage of that link but the original title was "Woe to Live On".  I saw a DVD of the movie a while back and enjoyed it a great deal, even though Toby McGuire doesn't look much like a Dutch person as the main character was (actually precious few of the characters look like their descriptions in the book).  The movie was very good and reading the book didn't add that much to it.  It takes place in Missouri during the Civil War and deals with sporadic skirmishes between Kansas Bushwhackers and the Secessionist Irregulars in Missouri.  The story was fairly well told and extremely brutal in its graphic violence but it struck me as very confusing at the beginning and I was glad to have seen the movie to find out just what the fuck was going on.  Still it adds a focus on a regional historical matter which I hadn't had a clue about previously.


Made some progress in "Red Fortress" by Catherine Merridale, which was reviewed in yesterday's WSJ.  Just past the point where Isidor went to a church meeting where he reached an agreement with the Roman Catholics, and when he returned the faithful were so fucking pissed off that they just stopped short of burning him in public.

Posted by: Captain Hate at December 29, 2013 05:53 AM (4muIs)

13 Hey thanks for reviewing "The Global War On Christians"! That's an important book and I've mentioned it in these threads before as, I'm sure, have others. Very very important topic. For non-Christians too, given that regimes which pick on Christians (or Jews for that matter) tend not to restrict themselves just to them.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 29, 2013 05:54 AM (KppFl)

14 Just finished rereading 'Footfall' and 'Lucifer's Hammer' both by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (Baen books $4 ebook in multiple formats)

I was surprised at how much of the story I had forgotten. Also surprised at the LA/Hollywood characters. Too much 80's culture, but the Apocalypse in Lucifer's Hammer seemed realistic. 

Posted by: Johnathun Gullwings at December 29, 2013 05:54 AM (yoKFi)

15 I got a copy of Charles Krauthammer's "Things that Matter" from my business partner in the Tiny Publishing Bidness. Haven't read it yet myself - business partner has, and she simply adores it. I'm still working on Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts." And - I'm running a special post-Christmas sale on my own books, for anyone who got a Nook or a Kindle e-reader for Christmas. The Nook and Kindle editions of The Adelsverein Trilogy, Daughter of Texas, Deep in the Heart, The Quivera Trail and To Truckee's Trail are all 25% off their usually low prices (compared to the prices for mainstream-published books!) until tomorrow. And thanks to those 'rons and 'ronettes who have bought them already and said nice things about them!

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at December 29, 2013 05:56 AM (Asjr7)

16 Does anyone have any recommendations for books about ancient Greek warfare?  I'm doing research for a project.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at December 29, 2013 05:57 AM (izZC0)

17    I got my wife two gifts that seem to be providing top-notch entertainment this Christmas season:

1)  The most recent release of Fritz Lieber's "Fafhrd and Grey Mouser" series.  She finished "Swords and Deviltry" already and is rapidly consuming "Swords against Death."  Great stuff from the author who coined the phrase "Swords and Sorcery."

2)  Not a book, but still fun in a Ted Nugent-y kind of way, I gave her a bow-and-arrow set, with a 35-lb compound bow and an archery target for the backyard (no life-like deer target, just the standard bulls-eye.)  Once she realized you had to adjust your aim for being off-set from the drawn arrow, she started putting together some nice consistent clusters.

     Maybe next Christmas will be a copy of "Blackhawk Down" and an AR-15   :-)

Posted by: Pave Low John at December 29, 2013 05:57 AM (Z79ao)

18 Damn you, book thread. I bought Dave three books recommended here. I think. Starving the South Defending Freedom The Myth of the Robber Barons Little got Rush Revere's history book. I wish I had time to read.

Posted by: Gingy @GingyNorth at December 29, 2013 05:59 AM (N/cFh)

19 Started "The Guns of August" and it's interesting enough. I'm only on about chapter 3 or 4 but, geez, these European tools were just trying to figure out how to settle everyone's hash from the last war: what a bunch of (not in a good way) morons and moral idiots. Wouldn't you think someone would have noticed that the world was rapidly improving and maybe it would be a good idea not to screw that up again? Still reading "The Great Deformation" and still like it, still pretty much agree with it: we are so riding for a fall. I had this discussion with a friend not too long ago, pointing out that we are still in the middle of a great big bubble since the Fed wouldn't let the last one collapse, and he just said "there's no place else to put your money but mutual funds" and, this being at work, I didn't argue. And I finally returned that first book on socialism I was reading. What an unconscionable waste of time: all history and never any explanation of how anyone was going to make it work, much less explaining why it never seems to work. So now I've started the Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism which at least talks about economics. And I have a few murder mysteries I might try this week too: a Linda Fairstein who spends way too much time talking about the minutiae of the investigations and not enough time on whodunit (we get it, you were a prosecutor), a Lisa Gardner who I have so far enjoyed, and another one called "Fire Season" or "Burn Season" or something like that.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 29, 2013 05:59 AM (B7YN4)

20   @16    Both Donald Kagan and Victor Davis Hanson have excellent works on Ancient Greek warfare.  Barry Strauss is another good author to check out.

     The original sources for that era are Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon.  Can't go wrong with those primary sources.

   If you want some fiction that gives a good feel for the era, check out "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield (along with his latter works, though they don't come up to GoF standards) and "Latro in the Mist" by Gene Wolfe.

Posted by: Pave Low John at December 29, 2013 06:00 AM (Z79ao)

21 Whoops! Didn't see this, my bad

Posted by: DaveinTexas at December 29, 2013 06:01 AM (k6duO)

22 6 Just finished Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 29, 2013 10:42 AM (u82oZ) --- I want that one!

Posted by: Gingy @GingyNorth at December 29, 2013 06:01 AM (N/cFh)

23 I went to Barnes and Noble with my new Christmas gift card clutched in my hot little hands, ready to buy some new hardcover science fiction, and .... Disappointment once again. Fantasy and chick-lit masquerading as sci-fi. What the hell happened to this country? When did Pajama Boy take over the publishing houses? And why oh why can't they separate the sci-fi from the fantasy? If I was interested in goblins and dragons and other fantasy I'd just watch MSNBC.

Posted by: Motionview at December 29, 2013 06:02 AM (e6TyM)

24 Colorado Alex Anything by Victor Hanson

Posted by: TexasJew at December 29, 2013 06:03 AM (U+u4A)

25 Clinton Bennett, "Studying Islam: The Critical Issues". This is an epistemological study on how a non-Muslim can study and / or teach this religion. I was pleasantly surprised - mainly because Bennett is a philosophy professor rather than an Orientalist (or whatever we're supposed to call them). He lays out the history of Western studies of the Arab world, explains the damage Edward Said did, and takes Esposito right apart. He also takes Spencer seriously, although he doesn't agree with him much either. (The book came out before "The Truth About Muhammad" and "Did Muhammad Exist?".) He seems to do that because he's warning the academy that if Esposito won't answer the students' questions honestly (which he never has), then the students will go further afield for their answers. The scholar this book seems to align with most is Andrew Rippin (who blurbs the cover), which means ultimately Wansbrough and other revisionists. Prose is a little dry, but since it's basically a textbook I don't mind.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 29, 2013 06:04 AM (KppFl)

26 22 6 Just finished Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 29, 2013 10:42 AM (u82oZ) --- I want that one! Posted by: Gingy @GingyNorth at December 29, 2013 11:01 AM (N/cFh) --- Thank you, AOSHQ amazon store, I just bought it... And The Reach Of Rome, recommended here earlier.

Posted by: Gingy @GingyNorth at December 29, 2013 06:07 AM (N/cFh)

27 Haven't had time to read lately, but I got my Dad a 2 volume leather bound set of de Toqueville's Democracy in America.  He was a happy camper and took them on his trip with him.

Posted by: Infidel at December 29, 2013 06:08 AM (6bvBO)

28 I received a copy of Detroit by Charlie LeDuff. He's a bit lefty in his perspective, but it is a good read and a great addition to information available about a dying great American city. I had no idea that his family members fell victim to the city as much as they have.

Posted by: Jinx the Cat at December 29, 2013 06:10 AM (l3vZN)

29 The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark.

Truly indispensable for understanding the origins of WW I.

Posted by: mnw at December 29, 2013 06:10 AM (68RU9)

30 Books I got for Christmas:

The Holman NKJV Study Bible, in full color, beautifully leather-bound and engraved with my name.  It is the first personalized engraved Bible I have ever owned. 

Also received "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young, also leather-bound.





Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 06:10 AM (P6QsQ)

31 And I'm still listening to Atlas Shrugged. Dagny just got back from Galt's Gulch and this book is never going to end. Someone else at the library reserved it but I'm going to keep it one more week and just pay the fine and be done with it.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 29, 2013 06:11 AM (B7YN4)

32 23  Disappointment once again. Fantasy and chick-lit masquerading as sci-fi. What the hell happened to this country? When did Pajama Boy take over the publishing houses? And why oh why can't they separate the sci-fi from the fantasy? If I was interested in goblins and dragons and other fantasy I'd just watch MSNBC.

Posted by: Motionview at December 29, 2013 11:02 AM (e6TyM)



Amazon does separate them but that will not cure the all books are women's theme.  80% of the books sold are to women so that is who the publishers cater to.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at December 29, 2013 06:11 AM (T2V/1)

33 Found my copy of de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" -- how it ended up under my couch I don't know.  It's an interesting read about 20 pages in.  In the meantime, I had begun Adam Smith's famous treatise.  The thing about "Wealth of Nations" is (so far) how spot on it is.  I really want to finish that, then get to "Webster's Works" (vol. IV) -- 19th. century Sen. Daniel Webster -- of which I have an original edition, then Keynes, and then Hayek.  In between there's WWII stuff to read.

Posted by: SFGoth at December 29, 2013 06:12 AM (NYAei)

34 20 Xenophon's "Anabasis" is the original "men on a quest" saga. Only, it's not fiction. Highly recommended.

Posted by: Tuna at December 29, 2013 06:12 AM (M/TDA)

35 "...I'm going to keep it one more week..."

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 29, 2013 11:11 AM (B7YN4)

No...you aren't.

Posted by: NSA at December 29, 2013 06:13 AM (QFxY5)

36 LOL at "RINO stylings of Ed Morrissey." He's a really nice guy, btw.

Posted by: baldilocks at December 29, 2013 06:14 AM (36Rjy)

37 Many thanks to the Moron who recommended the Brent Weeks trilogy of the Black Prism. It did, in fact, develop characters about whom a reader might care.

Posted by: Juan de Hattatime at December 29, 2013 06:14 AM (p7LQY)

38 Re 10: Another Monster Hunter fan is born!   Larry Correia has to be on all Morons' reading lists!

Re 16: Osprey Military Books has many short but informative books on the Ancient Greeks. Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent book on Themistocles which analyzes parts of the Peleponnesian Wars for modern perspective.

Re 23: David Drake, David Weber, John Ringo, S.M. Stirling, Timothy Zahn, William Dietz. All of them are still putting books out, and have current titles. I've seen all of those at my local B&N, get to it!

Posted by: exdem13 at December 29, 2013 06:16 AM (lJaja)

39 Finishing up The Twelfth Department by Wm Ryan, author of (the more popular, I gather) The Holy Thief . It's a murder mystery set in '50s Stalinist Soviet Union. Pretty good, easy read. Kind of amazed that a book like this got published as it does not whitewash the evils of communism (even though it is historical fiction).

Posted by: ghostofhallelujah at December 29, 2013 06:16 AM (XvrTA)

40 On my Christmas wish list was 'Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn't Want You To Know - And What To Do About Them' by Cynthia Shapiro My daughter got it for me.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at December 29, 2013 06:17 AM (DmNpO)

41 Books I gave for Christmas:



Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, by Eric Metaxis.


1914: The Year the World Ended, by Paul Ham.


Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman.


The Last Lion Box Set: Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874 - 1965, by William Manchester


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs, by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 06:17 AM (P6QsQ)

42

"I generally will not pay more than #10 for an e-book. There is no reason an e-book should cost more than $5 except for greedy publishers who want to sell hard back books."

 

I will go up to $12 if it is something I really want to read, but $15 would not fly with me. Out of principal, I'm not going to get caught up in paying more and more for e-books.

 

Love the convenience of my Kindle, but WTF is going on with the continued high prices of e-books? I had thought that I could get rid of stacks and stacks of books I have accumulated (for instance every Prey novel with Lucas Davenport), replacing them with inexpensive e-books for my collection. I mean how much should a 1992 e-book book in the Prey series, or an e-book of an old  L'Amour western, really bring?

 

However, it seems that the prices for books from many years, even decades ago, remain stubbornly high. I had thought/heard that  the market would work its supposed magic on this crap, but not so far.

 

Really? Seriously? Are there actually people out there buying enough copies of Winter Prey (from the 90's) for about $5 to keep the price at that level forever? When you could get a paperback copy for almost nothing?

 

Any thoughts, knowledge on this frustrating situation?

Posted by: RM at December 29, 2013 06:17 AM (fRppw)

43 BTW, beautiful photos

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at December 29, 2013 06:17 AM (DmNpO)

44 My Christmas book purchases were 5 World of Warcraft navels when they were on Kindle's "daily deal" and a couple of the less expensive Lauren Willig "Pink Carnation" series. I've enjoyed the one WoW book read so far. About the Orc leader-turned-shaman Thrall during the Cataclysm. It's by Christie (Christine?) somebody or other. Richard A. Knaak wrote a couple as well. I remember his name from past fantasy series but no details (maybe D-and-D related stuff). I'd forgotten how much I liked Willig's turn of phrase and enjoyment of her characters (sort of the opposite of Marion Chesney who clearly loathed every character she ever wrote). Her historical research is pretty in-depth which adds to the richness of the world but isn't used as a hammer like Hugo did in Les Miz.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 29, 2013 06:18 AM (GDulk)

45 This article in the online LA Times announces the launching of a new eBook site, Entitle. ** I received a tweet about "the Netflix of books" a few days ago: Oyster Books https://t.co/xesCSbYaaz

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at December 29, 2013 06:19 AM (DmNpO)

46 on the anti-Christian cultural motif... It occurred to me this morning a sardonic twist given the lack of public tolerance for Christmas musical celebrations or religious liturgy in general. The same idiots who resent hearing sacred music on the quicksand "separating" church from state USED TO BE the liberals against government as empire... so why all the glory acknowledging European court music from the Renaissance and Enlightenment still tolerated and substituted as if Christmas music on air? Soon enough, that will be terminated from the airwaves as well, and if only only "good" Soviet music is the limited listening menu, then even Wagner still would be eschewed, along with legends and myths, whether sacred or pagan. Arbeit Mach Frei, so dig in, comrade, and settle for NO SPIRIT.

Posted by: panzernashorn at December 29, 2013 06:23 AM (MhA4j)

47 Ya done good, OregonMuse. Thanks for all your blogwork.

Posted by: m at December 29, 2013 06:24 AM (omrQI)

48 They're confiscating pictures of guns!!

Posted by: ghostofhallelujah at December 29, 2013 06:24 AM (XvrTA)

49 For my own part, Xmas was good. I received "The Highland Clans" by Alistair Moffat. Short, sweet, succinct summary of the decline & fall of the Highland Clans of Scotland. You know, those half-Scandi, half-Mick bastards that are found swinging in the family trees of many AoS Morons. This is my fourth Moffat book, he is a fun & witty writer on Scottish history on many subjects. I heartily recommend him all the way 'round. I also got the splashy film guide for "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug". It was mostly chatty movie behind-the-scenes trivia & pretty pictures, but I like that kind of stuff. No pictures of Smaug though, that was a well-guarded secret!

For my dad, a freshwater sailing buff, I got Osprey's "Great Lakes Warships of 1812-1815". That will keep him interested for half a day, and have him doing internet searches for another two.

Posted by: exdem13 at December 29, 2013 06:25 AM (lJaja)

50 I mentioned Oyster books months ago. Ten bucks a month for all you can read. Limited library though. I haven't had time to try it out yet.

Posted by: NCKate at December 29, 2013 06:26 AM (Auy5s)

51 Book rec: The Stone Man -A Science Fiction Horror Novel By Luke Smitherd Rec comes after reading only about one-third of the book.

Posted by: eman at December 29, 2013 06:28 AM (EWsrI)

52 Does Matthew count as a book? Been a while since I just sat down and read the Gospels. What is the 'four' term like a trilogy, or perhaps more appropriately a triptych? I think the begats of Matt 1:1-17 were put up front to ward off those of low interest or short attention span. Certainly worked for me for many years...

Posted by: mindful webworker - it's Five Gold Rings Day!! at December 29, 2013 06:30 AM (MwpNJ)

53

Question: Would you participate in a book club where we would find a book to read and discuss? In other words, we would:

1. Decide on a book
2. Read it
3. Discuss it

That's all the details I have right now. I haven't decided anything, yet. I'm just trying to gauge the general interest.


I see no possible way that can go wrong.


Can we all pick something we know is stupid and then mock it without actually, you know, reading it?   Because I think that's within the Horde's ability to do.

 

Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 06:30 AM (Gk3SS)

54 Thank you OregonMuse for the all the 2013 links.
Will ask a noob question regarding Amazon shipping overseas.
Amazon Australia perhaps?
Started 2013 and ending 2013 for a reread of an oldie (1993).
Strip Tease by Carl Hiassen.
Thanks again OM and the horde.
Have a great and safe NewYear's Eve/Day/Week/2014/etc...

Posted by: Forty Baht Barack at December 29, 2013 06:30 AM (zuZnt)

55 >>>23 Disappointment once again. Fantasy and chick-lit masquerading as sci-fi. What the hell happened to this country? When did Pajama Boy take over the publishing houses? And why oh why can't they separate the sci-fi from the fantasy? "Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters – Part 1" http://tinyurl.com/m2vj5lg

Posted by: Dr. Varno at December 29, 2013 06:31 AM (V4CBV)

56 Still listening to War and Peace on TTS. Still enjoying it much more than Les Miz. Started Pride and Prejudice in TTS just for a fun read and Guns of August on Kindle since my resolution is to try to actually *read* all the the book I got for *last* Christmas.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 29, 2013 06:32 AM (GDulk)

57 Friends got me for Christmas the omnibus graphic novel Digger by Ursula Vernon.  Even autographed and dedicated to me. 
http://tinyurl.com/m9zw5uw

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 06:34 AM (zb54T)

58 THANK YOU OM, for this fine place to speak of books, our accomplishments and the accomplishments of others. Golden Angel has just crested 45k words. On March 18th at 1:00 PM I will be sitting for an hour long Interview about my book Amy Lynn on the Writestream Radio Network with Daria Anne DiGiovanni. This is also part of the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance. Daria is an up an Author/host/activist who has been heard recently on the Hugh Hewitt show among other conservative forums.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:34 AM (XIxXP)

59 ...The Holman NKJV Study Bible ... "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence"... : grammie winger Don't know those, but... nice!

Posted by: mindful webworker - it's Five Gold Rings Day!! at December 29, 2013 06:35 AM (DgUzc)

60 Went past the local library a few days ago and stopped in to check out the "New Books" section. "Mr. Penumbra's 24 - Hour Bookstore" was rather good for a modern novel .... upbeat rather than depressing, lot of weird atmosphere mixed with high and low tech, maybe the ending was a bit anticlimactic, but a good read, all-in-all. Amity Shlaes' bio of Coolidge is a good read if you want to know more about the Anti-Wilson. Call it masochism and I might agree, but I took out "Christian Nation" just to see if all the scathing reviews were accurate. Yes, they were. Absolute "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion"-level propaganda. I confess myself unnerved to think there are people out there who have read it and consider it gospel truth, warning of the serious danger of President Palin. "Please Don't Feed the Daisy" looked like it might be fairly amusing; the struggle of a couple trying to shrink their overweight Chihuahua, but in the first 50 pages the overwhelming self-regard of the authoress made me put it back down. Maybe I'll try again later. "Rose in a Storm" is a new entry in the rising genre of life-from-the point-of-view-of-a-dog books. A border collie helps her human through a blizzard on a farm. Just started, hasn't turned me off yet .... That's what I like best about the library; I can grab a book on the basis of the thinnest thread of "this might be interesting" without the heavy financial blow of purchasing a dog-turd-in-a-dust-jacket for 20+ bucks.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at December 29, 2013 06:36 AM (SwHqo)

61 dog-turd-in-a-dust-jacket for 20+ bucks. LOL, that's new.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:38 AM (XIxXP)

62 Other Sherlock Holmes fans might enjoy Anthony Horowitz's "House of Silk." http://goo.gl/NDQpwZ Most sites rate it 4 of 5 stars. I agree. Horowitz is a bit obsessive about accurate historical detail, which makes his period stuff especially enjoyable.

Posted by: Doug at December 29, 2013 06:40 AM (LADnp)

63 I bought my wife a book called "Provence 1970." It's about James Beard and Julia Child, and the transformation of American food. We read Jaque Pepin's auto-biography, which was fascinating. Anyone here read this? BTW, it's a really well made book, the pages have deckled edges, and the cover looks like a well used recipe book.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at December 29, 2013 06:40 AM (XLoA6)

64 No new books to speak of...but I did get a new Kindle Paper White for Xmas. And wow, it's fantastic. Definitely has a higher resolution than my legacy Kindle, and the built in lighting is absolutely amazing. It's much faster at turning pages than my old Kindle. One odd thing though.....it has less internal memory. As cheap as static RAM is these days, I would have expected them to increase the amount, significantly, instead of reducing it.

Posted by: Sticky Wicket at December 29, 2013 06:40 AM (0IhFx)

65 Well kids, must walk Dooy's, I'll check in later. Meanwhile I am reading a book called, Regular Guy Syndrome : Surviving Sex & Socialism in America, at the request of the Auther to review it. So far not bad. It's kind of steamy and I see plot twiasts on the horizon.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:43 AM (XIxXP)

66 Chic-lit as science fiction, blame Anne McCaffrey for getting away with writing such with the book Restoree.

From an animal's POV?  Watership Down will always be the only one for me.  His follow on Plague Dogs was eh.

Now to remember how to do KDP, my staggeringly large sales has caused me to produce a 2d edition for my fan base. 

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 06:44 AM (zb54T)

67 Doggies FKN Doggies. Oh, and yes, I think a moron book club is a fantastic Idea. We should give each other one month to read the book. Otherwise, that would be fun. Although I have always thought that's kind of what this is.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:45 AM (XIxXP)

68 Any thoughts, knowledge on this frustrating situation? Posted by: RM at December 29, 2013 11:17 AM (fRppw)


Why is the price of electronics good always the same no matter where you go?   Manufacturer/publisher pressure.  


On the books only have strong female characters front, I am to the point with all the crap YA I buy, and I buy a lot, that if a book has a male character as the chief protagonist, I buy it, no matter how horrible it looks.   Why?  Because if I were a teenage guy, there's no way in hell that I would read the stuff that's out there because it's all uber Mary Sue stuff.  If teenage guys need to read all the girl power yay stuff, then teenage girls need to do the same.  There needs to be market support for male centered fic as well.

I've mentioned before how much I enjoyed SYLO and one of the reasons why is that Our Hero is a mid-teen guy and the characterization is well done.   He's a kid who is trying to get through life when everything is completely confusing to him and that's before the whole wtf stuff starts up.  I don't even mind the obligatory romance bit because it's painfully familiar to read and remember what it was like to be that age and have no clue about what you were feeling and what to do about it.

Of course, given my luck, the next book is going to suck out loud. 

Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 06:46 AM (Gk3SS)

69 Can we all pick something we know is stupid and then mock it without actually, you know, reading it? Because I think that's within the Horde's ability to do. Sounds like "Christian Nation" might be the ticket. Didn't we make fun of that before having not read it, because the good Lord knows having Palin as President would be MUCH worse than having Barack Obama as President. She's be rounding up Atheists and Leftists and having auto-de-fa abd everybody would be forced to give up birth control (Seriously, though I knew some dimwitted leftist who insisted that Romney was going to outlaw birth control and make everyone convert to becoming a member of the LDS church.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 06:46 AM (BC6cY)

70 Now to remember how to do KDP, my staggeringly large sales has caused me to produce a 2d edition for my fan base. Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 11:44 AM (zb54T) When did you publish a Book? Why didn't I know? WTF.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:47 AM (XIxXP)

71 "My daughter received The Rabbi's Cat, by French cartoonist Joann Sfar, which is a graphic novel about, well, a rabbi's cat." "The Rabbi's Cat" was actually made into an animated film last year in France (and won best animated film at the Césars, the French Oscars). It was released here in the US on Blu-ray and DVD back in May by GKIDS, which handles a lot of great foreign animated titles in the US.

Posted by: Synnerman at December 29, 2013 06:47 AM (0Bdlg)

72 I already bookmarked this page to my AoS folder/directory.  Is there a listing of writer links of the AoS posters, Anna, Sgt. Mom, et al?
TIA

Posted by: Forty Baht Barack at December 29, 2013 06:48 AM (zuZnt)

73 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 11:44 AM (zb54T) Congrats on the 2nd edition but.... WHY have we heard nothing about you having a book out?

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 29, 2013 06:49 AM (GDulk)

74 Congrats on the 2nd edition but.... WHY have we heard nothing about you having a book out? Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 29, 2013 11:49 AM (GDulk) We may have been victimized by Anna Puma Snark.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:49 AM (XIxXP)

75 OSP because this one was an experiment.  Published way way back in 2012 so I could learn the process of publishing on KDP.  Its really a nothing book, a lark.  But Amazon sent me an earnings statement for $1.20.  So second edition!

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 06:50 AM (zb54T)

76 (Seriously, though I knew some dimwitted leftist who insisted that Romney was going to outlaw birth control and make everyone convert to becoming a member of the LDS church. Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 11:46 AM (BC6cY)


The triggering event for my final break with the other half of my internet life was pointing out to a number of people, people of whom I previously had at least some respect for their intelligence, that the claims that Romney was going to ban tampons stemmed from a parody website.   It did not matter that I provided all the links showing this.   The response was well even if he didn't really say that, we know that's what he wants to do.  So fake but accurate.


Yeah.   When you're to that point of outright hatred for what I believe?   Done with all of that. 



Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 06:50 AM (Gk3SS)

77 I didn't get any books, which is a first for me. Nor did I give any books, possibly another first. But I did get a $25 Amazon card and a kindle Paperwhite, so I'm about to go on a buying spree.

Posted by: .87c at December 29, 2013 06:50 AM (vRl9O)

78 OSP because this one was an experiment. Published way way back in 2012 so I could learn the process of publishing on KDP. Its really a nothing book, a lark. But Amazon sent me an earnings statement for $1.20. So second edition! Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 11:50 AM (zb54T) LOL, Outstanding. Don't forget to clain it on your taxes.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:51 AM (XIxXP)

79 Completely OT but I need this in my life:  http://bit.ly/1d0UVLh



Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 06:52 AM (Gk3SS)

80 Thanks for all the book threads, OregonMuse.  And thanks to whoever rec'd "The Great Upheaval" by Jay Winik, one of the best works of history I've ever read.  I hope my recs haven't steered anybody into unexpected territory.

Posted by: Captain Hate at December 29, 2013 06:52 AM (4muIs)

81 I didn't get any books, which is a first for me. Nor did I give any books, possibly another first. But I did get a $25 Amazon card and a kindle Paperwhite, so I'm about to go on a buying spree. Posted by: .87c at December 29, 2013 11:50 AM (vRl9O) Cool, try Amy Lynn, 3.99 on at amazon. It's a fun read written by a ron.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:52 AM (XIxXP)

82
OSP because this one was an experiment. Published way way back in 2012 so I could learn the process of publishing on KDP. Its really a nothing book, a lark. But Amazon sent me an earnings statement for $1.20. So second edition!

Sounds like the drinks are on Anna Puma today!

Posted by: Sticky Wicket at December 29, 2013 06:54 AM (0IhFx)

83 You should get that necklace there AlextheChick. 

Here is a storyboard from Star Wars that might make you smile.
http://tinyurl.com/km4swnj

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 06:54 AM (zb54T)

84 Yeah. When you're to that point of outright hatred for what I believe? Done with all of that. Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 11:50 AM (Gk3SS) You took longer than I did, I cut those people loose long ago.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:54 AM (XIxXP)

85 Infrequent commenter (and by infrequent I mean first), but I'd do a book discussion in a heart beat. Between gutenberg, many books and others, you could start the string on a no cost basis and attract readers who want to read. Leave the disposable "NYT Bestsellers" list for latter.

Posted by: jackofspades at December 29, 2013 06:54 AM (KN1cL)

86 Yeah, supporting "fake but accurate" really is a breaking point. What can you say to someone who stipulates that truth doesn't matter to them ? Reached that point with an old friend a few weeks ago in a discussion of the religion of global warming .... just thinking about seeing or talking to him again feels weird, and not in a good way.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at December 29, 2013 06:56 AM (SwHqo)

87 Sounds like the drinks are on Anna Puma today! Posted by: Sticky Wicket at December 29, 2013 11:54 AM (0IhFx) Well, one drink, lots of straws.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 06:57 AM (XIxXP)

88 Gee; That's really bad. I didn't run into anyone who thought Romney was going to outlaw tampons. They hadn't sunk to that level of stupidity. What was the supposed rationale for this-so women could also use magic underwear (BTW, I HATE that term l I am using for effect) to soak up the menstrual flow.? The woman who insisted Romney was going to outlaw birth control and force conversions at the point of a gun was a social worker in the public school system. Hooray for public ed. :^(

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 06:57 AM (BC6cY)

89 Infrequent commenter (and by infrequent I mean first)

Posted by: jackofspades at December 29, 2013 11:54 AM (KN1cL)

---------------



Welcome to the horde!

Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 06:57 AM (P6QsQ)

90 You took longer than I did, I cut those people loose long ago. Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 11:54 AM (XIxXP)


It was the fandom part of my life and I had pretty much winnowed it down to people who I thought were able to deal with the fact that hey not everything has to be all politics all the time.   Yeah.


To be fair, part of it was the realization that I couldn't be civil about it and discretion is the better part and all of that. 

Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 06:57 AM (Gk3SS)

91 "Fake bu accurate" is the Progressive-Socialist's version of Tayiqaa but they lie to themselves for their cause.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 06:57 AM (zb54T)

92 *waves to jackofspades*


Welcome! 

Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 06:59 AM (Gk3SS)

93 Little Winger came home for Christmas with not-really-a-book, more of a folder-with-video-insert.  Said he had bought himself a girl for Christmas.  Found out what he really meant was that he signed up to sponsor a child in Ethiopia through World Vision.  I thought that was a wonderful gift. 

Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 06:59 AM (P6QsQ)

94 Anna Puma, I envy you the Digger omnibus ;-) I love every detail of that series--the prophetic snails, the vampire squash, the adorable shadow-monster, and of course the *extremely* practical wombat. Vic, you are absolutely right that no ebook should cost more than $10. It sure as hell doesn't cost the companies that much to produce, and that money isn't finding its way back to the writers either. Which is a good reason to check out indies like Sgt. Mom, OSP, other morons to be named later, and me ;-) (Congrats to OSP on the new book word count! Keep scribbling!) I've gone in to Barnes (ampersand) Noble with full intent to buy a book and gone out empty-handed myself. Waaay too much oversexed urban fantasy and goat-gagger 15 book series. No tales of space adventure and exploration that I could find. Mostly this is because the legacy publishers want randy werewolves and sparkly vampires. "It sold before" and as noted, it advances their agenda(s). I especially dislike how they have redefined "strong women characters" from "women who are capable of doing things themselves" to "women who do completely implausible things yet still depend on men and sex for validation." Never mind war on men, it's a war on *humans*. Anything that celebrates human achievement is denigrated. And this is why the legacy publishers are seeing declining sales...

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at December 29, 2013 06:59 AM (2buaQ)

95 To be fair, part of it was the realization that I couldn't be civil about it and discretion is the better part and all of that. Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 11:57 AM (Gk3SS) Exactly, the civil part. They could rant and rave about the biggest lies you could imagine. You counter the arguement with facts it's no longer the subject, then it becomes you, you are stupid, you are (insert slander of the dat here). FK em all and don't come to to me for food, shelter and Ammo.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 07:00 AM (XIxXP)

96 Can we all pick something we know is stupid and then mock it without actually, you know, reading it? Because I think that's within the Horde's ability to do. Sounds like "Christian Nation" might be the ticket The problem is that I'd actually have to go out and BUY it, and I absolutely do not want to subsidize that vile crap.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 29, 2013 07:01 AM (fd0Pp)

97 Okay, I have to go get ready to go over to the 'rents for lunch but before I go I leave you this.   Because I'm a giver.

http://tideandthyme.com/beer-candied-bacon/



Posted by: alexthechick - Really Universe Really? at December 29, 2013 07:02 AM (Gk3SS)

98 Posted by: panzernashorn at December 29, 2013 11:23 AM (MhA4j) Hm, I spelled your name wrong in he ONT last night. Apologies. As Gingy said above, she got me The Myth of the Robber Barons for Christmas. I'm only a couple of chapters in but I'm enjoying it a lot, coupled as always with great pang of regret over what we COULD do with this country if only we were able to avoid the government.

Posted by: Weirddave at December 29, 2013 07:03 AM (N/cFh)

99 I'd do a book club. I once suggested on a political site-"The Righteous Mind-"why good people disagree about politics\ and religion by a professor named Jonathan Haidt but no liberals wanted to read it It was recommended on Dennis Prager's show. The author was very liberal but has become more conservative. I read it and it could help people on either side understand each other and was an interesting book.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 07:04 AM (BC6cY)

100 OK must walk doggehs, later.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet Palin/Bolton 2016 at December 29, 2013 07:04 AM (XIxXP)

101 Sabrina Chase thank you for the recommendation.  My friend she adores the series also.  To learn that you too love it, well I certainly have to dig into this.  She even gave me a foam pick-axe that reads 'Remember Tunnel 17!'

When the likes of Bella from Twilight is a sales leader.  Well it is depressing.  We have gone from Ripley in Alien to that as a female character worth imitating?  Game over man.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at December 29, 2013 07:06 AM (zb54T)

102 Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, by Eric Metaxis. Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 11:17 AM (P6QsQ He is in the "I Am Second" videos, good watch. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F_GTMgckqi4

Posted by: Madamex at December 29, 2013 07:08 AM (vaWdD)

103 "Does anyone have any recommendations for books about ancient Greek warfare? I'm doing research for a project.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at December 29, 2013 10:57 AM (izZC0)"


Victor Davis Hansen is the expert.



Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at December 29, 2013 07:08 AM (V70Uh)

104 He is in the "I Am Second" videos, good watch.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F_GTMgckqi4

Posted by: Madamex at December 29, 2013 12:08 PM (vaWdD)


----------------



Thank you Madamex!  I will watch it right now.

Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 07:10 AM (P6QsQ)

105 One last question and then I off to the bunk.
Last time I stepped foot in a BandN in the 57 states was in 2001.
Do Waldenbooks and B. Dalton's still exist as brick and mortar shops too?

Posted by: Forty Baht Barack at December 29, 2013 07:10 AM (zuZnt)

106

I'd love to be part of a book club arrangement here

. Count me in!.

 

At Chez Aussie we have books everywhere, and we really need a bigger house to store all our books....

 

The old bloke loves his SF and fantasy stuff and I have whatever I can get on ancient history, mainly Roman Republic/.Empire stuff. as well as plenty of crime thrillers and true crime stories

 

I could not live comfortably without all my books - and I have another few hundred on my lovely Kindle

 

Book of the week for me - Life by Keith Richards - I bought it for the old bloke and I'm reading.it

 

I suppose you could classify it as ancient history and true crime!

Posted by: aussie at December 29, 2013 07:11 AM (guXLk)

107 Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, by Eric Metaxis. Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 11:17 AM (P6Qs I read that about three months ago. Very fine book. I particularly enjoyed the comments on Jackie Robinson whom I didn't know much about and didn't know that he was a Christian. That would be a good choice.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 07:12 AM (BC6cY)

108 Thanks grammie winger !

Posted by: jackofspades at December 29, 2013 07:14 AM (KN1cL)

109 Thanks, Sabrina - you know, the circle of indy writers that I joined up with a good few years ago had several looooooong discussions about pricing our e-books when Amazon brought out the Kindle, and invited writers to do versions of their books for it. We chewed it over pretty thoroughly, and agreed that .99 was too little (and undervalued your work, unless it was part of a special limited deal, or a really short novella) and more than 5.00 was pushing it. 2.99 to 3.99 was the sweet spot - about the price of a cup of good gourmet coffee. Our thinking was that it would be a way to entice readers into taking a chance on an unknown writer - hey, if they liked your book, it was good, and if they didn't like it, they weren't out much. For us it was good, because of the 35% or 70% payment to the author. We were pretty certain that raditional publishers charging $12-15 for an e-book are dealing themselves out of the business, - who would pay that, if you can get a second-hand copy for a fraction of that? But they have expensive offices in New York to pay for, and a whole lot of staff, and artists and lay-out experts and advertising ...

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at December 29, 2013 07:19 AM (Asjr7)

110 I've always assumed that I just didn't like short stories, because seeing a collection makes me feel nauseous. But I've been going through my Christmas time funk (losing my schedule makes me a bit fuzzy round the edges) where long novels seem out of reach, so I picked up some smaller short stories, that are grouped in collections of 2 or 3, and I'm really enjoying them. A special favourite is "Prelude", by Katherine Mansfield. You kind of have to just let go of your bourgeois attachment to things like "plot" (I know, I know, but it's only 50 pages) and roll with it. It's essentially dipping in and out of various scenes of the family and servants, and get a grasp of what's going on. Very Chekhov-y - or maybe it's like being a child again and getting, but not quote getting, what's going on. What it does, it does well. And "Le Bal", by Irene Nemirovsky, which has one of the most gleefully awful mothers in literature. Collections of short stories are like albums in many ways. You're getting, at the minimum, 10 stories. You don't know which, if any are any good. And even if you do like at least one or more, you're looking at having to carry around and shelve a number that you don't like. Publishers seem resigned to the fact that they don't sell as much as novels, but how much more would they sell one at a time, especially on e-readers? You couldn't get away with selling filler, of course, but I for one would happily spend a couple of bucks on 1/2/3 stories that I'd have a fair chance of enjoying than more for a collection that just overwhelms me with choice. (I tried to read Edith Pearlman's and Stefan Zweig's collections, but no. Just no.)

Posted by: Lizzie at December 29, 2013 07:19 AM (ZQWto)

111 VDH was what I was thinking, too, re Greek warfare. "A War Like No Other" had some information on it, as to weapons&armor, techniques, etc..

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at December 29, 2013 07:20 AM (SwHqo)

112 OliveTreeBible ‏@OliveTreeBible 1h Today is the last day to get the New American Standard Bible for free: http://t.co/FpLe9uIVeS

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at December 29, 2013 07:26 AM (DmNpO)

113 A lot of public libraries have e-book lending services that are free. You use your library card to sign in (on line), choose your book and reading format that will either guide you to amazon tho complete the loan (for mobi files) or download the books directly to your device (for ePub books).

Posted by: Luis at December 29, 2013 07:26 AM (Qzz2p)

114 Madamex-WONDERFUL video with Eric Metaxas. I had not seen it before; Thanks so much.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 07:31 AM (BC6cY)

115 I just finished re-reading Shogun for the 15th time or so. Clavell is just a fantastic writer. I then picked up an old middle school read, "Split Infinity," a fantasy and sci fi mix by Piers Anthony.

Posted by: Secret Squirrel at December 29, 2013 07:36 AM (0SmH0)

116 For Christmas I received "Easy Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes for Everyone" by C. Elias

Posted by: BornLib at December 29, 2013 07:42 AM (zpNwC)

117 I second the comment about the indispensable "The Sleepwalkers", by Christopher Clark. One of the best books I've EVER read on any subject. Would love to sink my teeth into Manchester's Churchill trilogy, but it's a bit too pricey and  since I've been working two jobs (thanks Obama!), I wonder if I have the time anyway...

Posted by: JoeyBagels at December 29, 2013 07:47 AM (Usdw3)

118 114 Madamex-WONDERFUL video with Eric Metaxas. I had not seen it before; Thanks so much. There is a whole series of these, they are excellent. Spreading the good news. http://www.iamsecond.com/

Posted by: Madamex at December 29, 2013 07:48 AM (vaWdD)

119 117 I second the comment about the indispensable "The Sleepwalkers", by Christopher Clark. One of the best books I've EVER read on any subject. Posted by: JoeyBagels at December 29, 2013 12:47 PM (Usdw3) ====================== I got about 50 pages in, before the vicious anti Russian sentiment made me return it. Should I give it another go? (I *do* have a slight habit of returning decent books away because one turn of phrase got up my nose.)

Posted by: Lizzie at December 29, 2013 07:54 AM (ZQWto)

120 Stick with "The Sleepwalkers." One of the  things about this book--as noted in almost every review--is that Clark doesn't assign blame for that stupid war on any one country, or person in particular. It was a fustercluck  in which all of Europe had a hand...including the Russians.

Posted by: JoeyBagels at December 29, 2013 07:59 AM (Usdw3)

121 117 One of the best books I've EVER read on any subject. Posted by: JoeyBagels at December 29, 2013 12:47 PM (Usdw3) Funny, that's what I've always said about "Guns of August". I'm glad to hear that, because I've been thinking about reading "The Sleepwalkers" for a while now.

Posted by: rickl at December 29, 2013 08:18 AM (sdi6R)

122 No books for Christmas this year, but I went to the library and came out with a herniatic stack, so I was my own Santa. And right now Missus Claus is having herself some warm gingerbread made with gingerbread stout and extra ginger. I'm still feasting on Monster Hunter International, and even though it's a series, I want to savor, not devour. This book makes me want to blow shit up, but in a joyous celebratory way, with childish glee and innocent abandon. Also on the coffee table is redneck rocketeer Travis Taylor's "A New American Space Plan". It begins with a lament on what should have been "Space Station Freedom" becoming an over-politicized, kludged together frankenstation. I have a hyper-educated friend who thinks all our future endeavors should be multinational, yet curiously also tells her daughter to learn Chinese since they are probably going to be the dominant power I space ((head tilt, pretty shrug of shoulders)), right? We have abdicated so much...

Posted by: All Hail Eris at December 29, 2013 08:20 AM (QBm1P)

123 Got my 13 year old Brian Kilmeade' s book: George Washington's Secret Six: the Spy Ring that Saved the Nation. I plan on stealing it from him before too long. Got my dad Owen Johnson's : The Lawrenceville Stories.

Posted by: tms at December 29, 2013 08:22 AM (FMLm1)

124 79 Completely OT but I need this in my life: http://bit.ly/1d0UVLh LEGO sells minifig keychains. I've had Darth on my ID lanyard for years now.

Posted by: Anachronda at December 29, 2013 08:24 AM (U82Km)

125 BTW, "The Rabbi's Cat" is available for download on Netflix.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at December 29, 2013 08:24 AM (QBm1P)

126 115, Shogun is one of my all-time favorite novels. Every time I read it, I focus on a different story: the political one, the love story, the culture story - it's endless. And I would love to do a book club but I will point out that it would not be of much value if we pick a book that everyone will end up agreeing on. Also, please, please, please, no Civil War. I just can't stand re-fighting that over and over.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 29, 2013 08:30 AM (B7YN4)

127 121,There is something about the run-up to WW 1 that lends itself to epic storytelling--for writers who are up to the task --as Tuchman was and Clark is. Simply put, the world was one way before The Great War, and another way, afterwards. The outlines of European social life in 1914 would have been recognizable to a European visiting from the 15th century. The same would not be true if he arrived 5 years later. Paul Johnson in Modern Times put it best when he said that , with WW1, "Europe attempted to kill itself."Perhaps they succeeded but the coroner has not yet arrived to sign the death certificate...

Posted by: JoeyBagels at December 29, 2013 08:35 AM (Usdw3)

128 I only got 2 books this Christmas, but both good. From the son a really nice Lord of the Rings compilation. Paperback and larger than standard. From the wife, Texas Treasury of Dutch Oven Cooking. Nice recipe collection for when camping. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ya'll !!

Posted by: CharlieH at December 29, 2013 08:35 AM (hMoTR)

129 Finished "Shockwave Rider" based on a reco here.  View of an all too real dystopian world that seems familiar.  Good read once you  get over the constant flashbacks.

Finished "How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain" by Gregory Berns, very entertaining read. I obviously need to work on my dog training skills because I think my hounds have trained me rather than the other way round.

Starting on "Washington's Secret Six" and it is better than I thought it would be.

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 29, 2013 08:39 AM (o3MSL)

130 Eris -- How do you not devour the Monster Hunter books? I have a horrid time putting them down! (At least this first time through. Maybe re-reading, it'll be easier.)

Posted by: Empire1 at December 29, 2013 08:39 AM (mq9Je)

131 I think an AoS Book Club might be a hoot and expose me to new writers I would never bother with otherwise.  I have read several books based on reviews here and enjoyed most of them.

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 29, 2013 08:42 AM (o3MSL)

132 Not a book to share, but I came across the link while pursuing the forty-fifth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission and the reading of Genesis while in moon orbit. Apollo Lunar Surface Journals - http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars at December 29, 2013 08:43 AM (HsTG8)

133 For Christmas received "Schottenfreude", a compilation of those long words, auf Deutsch, that perfectly describe what just hit the fan.

Posted by: billypaintbrush at December 29, 2013 08:46 AM (9/iF+)

134 I received a tweet about "the Netflix of books" a few days ago: Oyster Books https://t.co/xesCSbYaaz Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at December 29, 2013 11:19 AM (DmNpO) I starting twitching til I realized this is only for apple readers (i-pod, i-pad etc) Soooo sad now

Posted by: FCF at December 29, 2013 08:46 AM (Khja4)

135 A belated huge Thank You to Oregon Muse for these weekly book threads. Easily the most anticipated thread of the week for me.

Posted by: grammie winger at December 29, 2013 08:54 AM (P6QsQ)

136 #31

If the book is on CDs, you likely already have software on your PC that will convert those to MP3 or another format. That way you can return the book and take you time with it. I do this frequently for my mother and sister, who would otherwise spend a small fortune annually on late fees.

Posted by: Epobirs at December 29, 2013 08:58 AM (bPxS6)

137 Late to the party, as always. Normally I'm not much of a poster, but I could use some suggestions. I'm giving a Sherlock Holmes birthday celebration this January. I've settled on bread pudding with hard sauce as being the closest I am willing to get to spotted dick. But I'm having trouble thinking of finger food. Anyone have any ideas for me. Anyone? . . . Hello?

Posted by: sinmi at December 29, 2013 08:59 AM (7NA7O)

138 Discussion on "The Guns of September" made me remember that one today. Got it from the folks when I went off to university oh so many years ago. It really took Germany to the woodshed for bad diplomatic calls, but no European nations escaped unscathed. Austria-Hungary got it for demanding two pounds of flesh, the French took it for wanting revenge on Germany too much, and the Russians took it for even trying in the first place! 

I am a long-time fan of Barbara Tuchman, since then at least. I was influenced a lot by "The March of Folly" and "A Distant Mirror", and I really loved "The First Salute", which was the first time anyone I had read had depicted the American Revolution as a true global conflict.

Posted by: exdem13 at December 29, 2013 09:11 AM (lJaja)

139 sinmi, see if this link helps at all: http://tinyurl.com/pkj4yfx

Posted by: [/i][/b][/u][/s] Tami at December 29, 2013 09:11 AM (bCEmE)

140 Empire1, I have to force myself to read only 1 or 2 chapters at a pop, otherwise I'd binge-read into the dawn and arise with red glowing coals for eyes. I'm usually into a few other nonfics at the same time, as a palate cleanser.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at December 29, 2013 09:12 AM (QBm1P)

141 #64

Amazon has another reason beyond cost to limit the Kindle's storage. It comes under the same reason they don't have a memory card slot on any of their devices. They want you to be heavily dependent on their cloud services and not loading your device with content obtained elsewhere.

Barnes & Noble has done a similar thing on the Nook. It has 2 GB of storage capacity but only a tenth of it is accessible via USB to load your own files. It does have a microSD slot though, so you can have up to 32 GB of storage that is entirely your own. Supposedly, you can have the native memory made completely available if you go into a B&N store and request it but I've never tried. MicroSD card are now under a buck per gigabyte for speeds that are fine for e-readers, and an 8 GB card holds an immense library.

Posted by: Epobirs at December 29, 2013 09:12 AM (bPxS6)

142 The weekly book thread is the best regular thread on AOSHQ. Glad we have this year's index. Thanks OMuse. On topic of Guns Of August, check those links... some of the morons here thought it was dated and incomplete.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 29, 2013 09:17 AM (QVuWn)

143 Here's another sinmi...it's a pdf of a cookbook - COOKING FOR SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DR. WATSON British Recipes for Two Persons (I'm sure they can be adjusted) http://tinyurl.com/q76zp3v

Posted by: [/i][/b][/u][/s] Tami at December 29, 2013 09:19 AM (bCEmE)

144 Barnes Noble has done a similar thing on the Nook. It has 2 GB of storage capacity but only a tenth of it is accessible via USB to load your own files. It does have a microSD slot though, so you can have up to 32 GB of storage that is entirely your own. Supposedly, you can have the native memory made completely available if you go into a BN store and request it but I've never tried. MicroSD card are now under a buck per gigabyte for speeds that are fine for e-readers, and an 8 GB card holds an immense library.
Posted by: Epobirs at December 29, 2013 02:12 PM (bPxS


My Samsung came with 8g of memory and I had a spare 8g microsd card that I put in it.  With that much memory I will probably never run out as I don't use this device for music.  I have a Sansa clip for that and the new ones have a microsd card slot for up to 32g cards. The largest e-book I have is 1.2M and most are only about 600K.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at December 29, 2013 09:20 AM (T2V/1)

145 Thanks for these book threads, OM! They'd make Sam the Eagle proud. Okay, now that the Chinese have overrun Castle Argghhh!, I know of no better place to ask this question than here, so here goes: Can *anyone* help me find a description of the Battle of Kickapoo Springs (Texas, May 1870) that gives more detail than "Sgt. Emanuel Stance led a ten-man patrol to victory over an Apache raiding party, for which he received the Medal of Honor"? So far the closest thing to an eyewitness description I've been able to find is Willie Lehmann's account of his escape, and he didn't actually see the fight itself. There appear to be exactly two book-length biographies of Stance, both out of print, neither available in my library, and WorldCat refuses to retrieve any info on other libraries for me. And as my next book deals with the capture of the Lehmann boys, I really want to get the descriptions right!

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 29, 2013 09:21 AM (Mt8eo)

146 This week I listened to Terry Pratchett's 'Raising Steam.' This is the third of the Discworld books with Moist Von Lipweig as the perspective character, though many others, like Sam Vimes, are given their time in the spotlight. It ties pretty heavily into the events of the last few books, more so than than was typical in the first two dozen or so Discworld novels.

The main driver development here is the invention of the steam engine on the Discworld. Pratchett reduces decades of history to a much shorter time and throws in a political dispute among the Dwarves as a complication.

If you enjoyed previous Discworld novels, this is more of the same kind of fun. If you're new to Pratchett, you're probably better off starting at the beginning with 'The Colour of Magic' and going forward from there. It will keep you busy for a quite a long time but don't forget to read something other than Pratchett occasionally, lest you suffer burnout. Even the best can wear thin with overexposure.

Posted by: Epobirs at December 29, 2013 09:24 AM (bPxS6)

147 I read the first two Joe Pickett novels by CJ Box that was mentioned last week.  I really enjoyed them.  They remind me of the Longmire tv series.  I tried to read the first Longmire book, but having seen the tv series it was too much of a spoiler.  This is the same flavor, but new plots.  Thanks for writing about it, I never would have found them otherwise. 

Posted by: Matt in Maine at December 29, 2013 09:28 AM (t/+KI)

148 March Of Folly was good, but arguably Vietnam didn't belong there. Foolish decisions were made but it was not inevitable that Ho Chi Minh would win. A better example of Oriental anticommunist fuckuperry would be Chiang KaiShek's attack on Mao's enclave in north China. What a disaster that was.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at December 29, 2013 09:29 AM (QVuWn)

149 Last year we got a book of hilarious poetry from cats' points of view called "I Could Pee On This". There's a dog version too though I haven't read that. We didn't get much in the way of books this year, I picked up the Church Primer for the husband - about a lot of the tiny architectural details and so on.

Posted by: GalaKitty at December 29, 2013 09:41 AM (KT2XH)

150 For a good perspective on the collapse of Western Civilization, I recommend the works of Theodore Dalrymple. This is the pen name of Dr. Anthony Daniels. After graduating medical school he spent many years practicing in the third world, then returned to London, where he practiced in the East End and at a prison. This immersed him in the pathologies of the lower classes and what socialist policies have done to them.

For samples of his recent columns, go to City Journal. Not for the faint of heart but I for one cannot turn away from knowing where the rot has taken root and why.

"Theodore Dalrymple is a former prison doctor and psychiatrist. He has been arrested as a spy in Gabon, been sought by the South African police for violating apartheid, visited the site of a civilian massacre by the government of Liberia, concealed his status as a writer for fear of execution in Equatorial Guinea, infiltrated an English communist group in order to attend the World Youth Festival in North Korea, performed Shakespeare in Afghanistan, smuggled banned books to dissidents in Romania, been arrested and struck with truncheons for photographing an anti-government demonstration in Albania and crossed both Africa and South America using only public transportation. He is also the author of more than two dozen books and innumerable essays."

http://tinyurl.com/knrqocg

The Amazon list of Dalrymple works. Any purchases, of course, should use Ace's link.

Posted by: Epobirs at December 29, 2013 09:45 AM (bPxS6)

151 Just wanted to say a great big thanks to OM for one of my favorite features of AoSHQ. Happy New Year!!!

Posted by: Gem at December 29, 2013 10:03 AM (zw+pb)

152 I have ready quite a few essays of Theodore Dalrymple at "City Journal." I haven't read his books. Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 10:17 AM (BC6cY)

153 You're having a Sherlock Holmes birthday celebration? What fun!! What about some of the salads and sandwiches served at a Victorian High tea? http://www.food.com/menu/victorian-high-tea-29909 There are a number of websites about this on the internet.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 29, 2013 10:22 AM (BC6cY)

154 I received, as a hostess gift, Barnaby Conrad's "Absinthe: History in a Bottle", a beautiful compendium of lore and art. Interesting stuff on the moral panic that ensued over a rash of supposedly absinthe-fueled crimes; of course, Big Grape was fanning the flames of public outrage. Put on your best velvet smoking jacket, dab on some lavender water, add a dash of the Green Fairy to your glass of champs, and curl up on a divan with this book. This wretched weather is perfect for it.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at December 29, 2013 10:25 AM (QBm1P)

155 Posted by: GalaKitty at December 29, 2013 02:41 PM (KT2XH) Good to "see" you again GalaKitty.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at December 29, 2013 11:41 AM (GDulk)

156 Late to the thread, as I've been reading it after I got home from work.


One thing I don't like doing, but will anyway. Gonna have to correct Captain Hate from post #12. The Bushwhackers  were the pro-slavery people from Missouri!
The ones fighting them in Kansas were the Jayhawkers.


You may have heard of a local basketball team from here with that sort of name.


Other than that, have been reading a really, really good historical mystery, which I can't really say much about until I've finished it. Something I've never heard about, but the book is a damn page turner.


I'm sure I'll finish it in the next few days, and mention it next week.


Oh, and of course thanks to Mr. O'Muse, for doing this week in and out...


 

Posted by: HH at December 29, 2013 11:44 AM (XXwdv)

157 If anyone is still up on this thread still...

I liked Guns of August too, but she was a populizer, not a rigorous academic historian as Christopher Clark is (think Cambridge endowed chair, etc)

One of the many attractive aspects of The Sleepwalkers is that Clark is JUST NOT INTERESTED in dicing & slicing blame/responsibility/guilt.   It's just not any part of what he has tried to do.

It's inconceivable to me that anybody could read the first 50 pages & get distressed by a perceived "bias against Russia" or anybody else  Are you sure you read the same book?

RE:  Victor Davis Hanson

I recommend the Soul of Battle especially.  The book is divided into 3 parts, & the section about Epaminondas & the destruction of Sparta should interest anyone looking to read about ancient Greek warfare.  Professor Hanson is fluent in both ancient & modern Greek, which doesn't hurt, I'm sure.

Posted by: mnw at December 29, 2013 11:52 AM (68RU9)

158 HH, that's just cruel, teasing us like that.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 29, 2013 11:56 AM (B7YN4)

159 Apparently ace hates ampersands but (hearts) "and"s?

Posted by: mnw at December 29, 2013 11:56 AM (68RU9)

160 I like the idea of a book thread, and would read them. But I would be less likely to actually read the books, and would probably quietly lurk as usual. I agree with the person at the beginning that it would be best if 2-3 people (including the one whose idea this was) decided on the books.

Posted by: Alana at December 29, 2013 12:05 PM (86vMN)

161 Book club thingie, I mean.

Posted by: Alana at December 29, 2013 12:06 PM (86vMN)

162 Posted by: Tonestaple at December 29, 2013 04:56 PM (B7YN4)


Sorry, but I have to finish the book before I do a real review. At the moment, it's a cross between what happened to the Donner Party, crossed with parts of the mystery of 'The Mary Celeste', and doses of the great, probably rarely seen here in the US of the movie "Flight of the Eagle".


But so far it is great, and involving.


Plus lot's of pictures...

Posted by: HH at December 29, 2013 12:29 PM (XXwdv)

163 Oh, and the book has nothing to do with the Donner Party, just using that as an example...

Posted by: HH at December 29, 2013 12:35 PM (XXwdv)

164 Oh, and I read The Ugly American on recommendation from Bill Whittle, and am half-way through The Swiss Family Robinson. The Ugly American was interesting, and I wonder if we need to employ the strategy they advocate in our current struggle against statism in our country.

Posted by: .87c at December 29, 2013 12:55 PM (pgM7o)

165 I read "My So-called Life as a Submissive Wife" by Sara Horn. It's an entertaining read. I confess that I have not been able to finish "Atlas Shrugged". I'm considering reading some old classic fiction. I read too much stuff with short choppy sentences. And reading the Russians in winter can make you appreciate your mild climate!

Posted by: Notsothoreau at December 29, 2013 01:15 PM (Lqy/e)

166 Gonna have to correct Captain Hate from post #12. The Bushwhackers were the pro-slavery people from Missouri!
The ones fighting them in Kansas were the Jayhawkers.



You are quite correct and I should've proof read it before posting it.  Dammit.

Posted by: Captain Hate at December 29, 2013 01:30 PM (4muIs)

167 Have read a bunch of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone alphabet mysteries this year, many of the ebooks had been on sale for $1.99. Finished 'H Is For Homicide' and read 'I Is For Innocent' this week. The former is a slice of criminal life without much mystery, and the latter is more a straightforward mystery. Both were good but I prefer stories like 'I' where Kinsey rips away at a mystery until she finds the truth. My 2014 resolution will be to complete the series (Grafton is up to the letter W). I'd give a book club a try, maybe people could nominate books, OM could select 5-6 and people could vote. This could be done mid-month, giving people 10 days or so to acquire the book, and people could read it over the course of the month, then comment at month's end. I'd prefer it be limited to ebooks myself.

Posted by: waelse1 at December 29, 2013 01:48 PM (OFad5)

168 Posted by: mnw at December 29, 2013 04:52 PM (68RU9)

I agree with you about Tuchman.  Read her 40 years ago in junior high school, and quickly decided I needed better information.  She is especially poor on the sequence of events that lead to mobilization and war.  And in preference to The Proud Tower I prefer Lafore's The Long Fuse.

Currently I am waiting for Clark's The Sleepwalkers to arrive.  I also just recently finished McMeekin's July 1914, which I highly recommend.  Very few other authors (that I have read so far) have noted that the Russians started mobilizing five days before everyone else, but McMeekin ferreted out that fact and assigned it the importance that was due.

Posted by: HTL at December 29, 2013 02:14 PM (QV8Gr)

169 Still wandering through The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (recommended here, I think by paranoidgirl - thanks!). Lots of short stories/mysteries and lots of fun. Received a bunch of Amazon cards for Christmas, so am planning on a bunch of fun deciding what to spend 'em on. Happy New Year to all!

Posted by: Bookaday at December 29, 2013 03:24 PM (+HEUC)

170 The Sleepwalkers backs up to 1871 and starts from there, to try to explain HOW 1914 happened.  Clark doesn't do "why," only "how."

I think understanding the greatest disaster in western history requires a dispassionate, holistic approach-- and the best way to begin is to ignore questions about who was naughty & who was nice.

(since I have replaced all ampersands with "and"s, hopefully my post won't sound like gibberish now)

Posted by: mnw at December 29, 2013 04:39 PM (68RU9)

171 Since I have replaced all ampersands with "and"s, hopefully my post won't sound like gibberish now.

Posted by: mnw at December 29, 2013 09:39 PM (68RU9)


The comments section here does not allow html, and because the ampersand is the first character in a number of html instructions for producing ascii symbols, it is automatically stripped out of the text.  Just like Clark, I am telling you "how", and not "why".

Posted by: HTL at December 29, 2013 05:30 PM (QV8Gr)

172 A tip to those who have lost the habit of reading books:

Try having one at your bedside and reading it each night for ten minutes or so before going to sleep. You'll be amazed that you'll actually get through books again. It also settles your mind for the long winter's nap.

I picked up that idea from my 86-year-old dad.

Posted by: Beverly at December 30, 2013 07:09 PM (LlzNC)

173 Try having one at your bedside and reading it each night for ten minutes or so before going to sleep. You'll be amazed that you'll actually get through books again. It also settles your mind for the long winter's nap. Excellent suggestion. I keep my Nexus by my bedside and read for about 1 - 1.5 hours every night before turning off the light.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 30, 2013 07:49 PM (fd0Pp)

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