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June 26, 2016

Sunday Morning Book Thread 06-26-2016: Corruptions [OregonMuse]


Baldwins Book Barn West Chester PA 525.jpg
Baldwin's Book Barn, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Good morning to all of you [redacted] and bar[omitted]ers everywhere and all the s[removed]ea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, pres[deleted], internationally [censored] and high-[deleted] Sunday Morning Book Thread, now conforming to the new Department of Justice content standards. The Book Thread is where men are [omitted] all the 'ettes [redacted], safe spaces are where we [deleted], and if you've seen one sn[redacted]ake, you've seen [omitted]. Unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so ho[deleted]ty, pants are req[omitted]d. Especially those cargo pants with lots of pockets for extra [censored], because you'll never know when you'll need them. And because it's better to [redacted] and not [omitted], then [whole thing entirely redacted to save time].


Attack of the Clintons

So the Hillary! campaign is reported to be in damage control mode because of this book, Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate by Gary Byrne, which actually won't be released until the 28th.

But haven't we heard all of this 'Clintonia' before, all of the screaming hissy fits, the non-stop horndoggery, the throwing of weighty objects, the dissing of the military and also of the Secret Service assigned to protect them? I'm thinking of Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America by Roger Morris, which came out in 1999:

The author pulls no punches, dealing openly with allegations of cocaine use in the Governor's Mansion during the Clinton years, screaming and profane fights between the two Clintons, and a compromise on Hillary's part to live with Bill's hundreds of one-night stands in order to attain her goal of First Lady.

There's also On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton by Meredith Oakley that covers his Arkansas governorship, and whichever editor came up with that title really should've been fired.

Unlimited Access : An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House by Gary Aldrich, which came out in 1998. Aldrich, who spent 30 years with the FBI, the last five as an agent responsible for background checks on White House staff. His primary concern was the lax security in the Clinton White House, but also, I think this is the book that described how one of the Christmas trees inside the White House was decorated with drug paraphernalia.

But...

The point is, none of these books did any real damage to the Clinton Sleaze Machine, which just keeps rolling along. Priapus survived impeachment and his loathsome wife has been an ambulatory canker sore on the body politic ever since. There's just no getting rid of her. But considering the track record of these tell-all books, the best response by team Hillary! to this new one would've been to simply ignore it, and have faith that the MSM would have their backs. That's the way it's always worked out in the past, so why not now? The fact that her team is now desperately trying to smear the author just gives credence to his charges.

You know who's also got a new book coming out? Dinesh D'Souza. His latest, Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party will be available on July 18th, probably to coincide with the release of his documentary of the same name.

From her Alinskyite past to her hopes for America's progressive future, the presumptive Democratic nominee is revealed to be little more than a political gangster intent on controlling the nation's wealth. D'Souza chronicles the sleazy ascent of the Clintons and makes clear what some voters have long suspected: that Hillary is far more dangerous and corrupt than Bill ever was.

After watching the trailer, it's obvious that they put a lot of money into it. Also, D'Souza is trying to bring to debate the sleazy history of the Democratic Party, which there has never really been a public discussion about. Because the gatekeepers would rather prefer not. Don't know if D'Souza will be able to force the issue, my guess, probably not, but God bless him for trying.

The question is, is D'Souza's book and movie about the Clintons specifically, or the Democratic Party in general?

And I think the answer is yes.


Dickens Was A Crappy Writer

We know this because the science is settled:

I report the results of the test, where the takers had to tell the prose of Charles Dickens from that of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who is considered by many to be the worst writer in history of letters. The average score is about 50%, which is on the level of random guessing. This suggests that the quality of Dickens's prose is the same as of that of Bulwer-Lytton.

This article, entitled "Scientific Evaluation of Charles Dickens" and appearing in the periodical Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, has to be a joke:

Edward Bulwer-Lytton is the worst writer in history of letters. An annual wretched writing contest (http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/) was established in his honour. In contrast, Charles Dickens is one of the best writers ever. Can one tell the difference between their prose? To check this I wrote the “Great prose or not?” quiz (Simkin, 2004). It consists of a dozen of representative literary passages, written either by Bulwer-Lytton or by Dickens. The takers are to choose the author of each quote. They face a formidable task and are often surprised to learn the correct answers. “What mindless boob would write such tripe? Dickens, one would know now.” – wrote me one of respondents.

Does that sound like something that belongs in a "scientific" journal? Guy basically had some quotes from both authors and asked a bunch of people to guess which of the two authors wrote each quote, and apparently the total number of correct answers was not appreciably higher than the results you would get from simply guessing at each answer (50%)

If you're interested, you can read the rest of it here


Publishing Opportunity?

It used to be the kiss of death in publishing to submit an unsolicited manuscript.

Maybe not so much now:

As ebook readers have grown more popular, the publishing market has changed significantly. This has had a huge impact on the self-publishing industry. The media talks about this shift all the time. However, they often neglect to mention the huge impact it has had on the romance publishing industry. There are so many more romance and erotica novels published these days, that it seems like every few days a new romance publisher sprouts out of the woodwork.

If you write in the "romance" genre, the article goes on to list 31 Romance publishes that accept submissions without an agent.

The market for all the various genres and sub-genres of "romance" is just UUUGE.

I'll bet you anything there's even some sort of "SJW" romance sub-genre. Don't laugh. For all we know, "The Secret Diaries of Trigglypuff" might be a big seller.

H/T to Anna Puma.


Now I Feel Bad

Hey, does anybody else remember that smug little twerp Michael Kinsley? He used to be a staple on the talking-head shows in the 90s and early 00s, and there was something just insufferably annoying about him. I'm not sure if it was the way he looked, or his demeanor, or what, but of all the left-of-center talking heads on TV back then, he was the one, I swear, I just wanted to pop him a good one right in the puss.

And then sometime in the early 00s, he just disappeared. Not that I missed him, but I would wonder from time to time what happened to him.

And then this week I saw that he has written a book, Old Age: A Beginner's Guide. I didn't think he was that old, so I'm not sure why he thought he be qualified to be dispensing such advice. I have no idea if the book is any good or not.

In this series of essays, Michael Kinsley uses his own battle with Parkinson's disease to unearth answers to questions we are all at some time forced to confront.

Ouch. OK, that would explain why I haven't been seeing him on TV much lately. I have friends in various stages of Parkinson's, and it's not a disease I would wish on anyone. So I wish Mr. Kinsley well, and I hope his doctors can find a treatment regimen for him that will stave off the symptoms for a good long time.


Moron Recommendations

I've never done much on Twitter, and less even now that it has turned into just another progressive hive, but occasionally I'll get passed a tip. Like a few days ago when Chad recommended Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyon, his account of what happened when he joined a start-up company called "HubSpot", which tried to make money selling... e-mail spam. To be fair, HubSpot's wiki page says "HubSpot provides tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics, landing pages and search engine optimization."

Mixed in with Lyons's uproarious tale of his rise and fall at Hubspot is a trenchant analysis of the start-up world, a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them, a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments, where companies blow money lavishing perks on their post-collegiate workforces, and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to reach an IPO and cash out.

I thought this item on the wiki page was amusing:

In July 2015, Hubspot's CMO Mike Volpe was dismissed for violating HubSpot's code of business conduct. The company's board of directors found that Volpe tried to obtain a draft copy of Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, by Daniel Lyons. The book is a satirical look at HubSpot, its company culture, and its business practices.

Hee hee.


Books By Morons

I never knew that longtime moron commenter naturalfake was a published author, and perhaps he wasn't in the past, but he is now. His comic novel Wearing the Cat: Part One: Flaming Hoops is now available on Kindle. This is the first of a projected quartet of novels featuring

Lt. Nick McGill, dentist in the United States Navy Dental Corps.

If you're thinking, what could be at all interesting about a naval dentist, Lt. McGill might agree with you:

He joined the Navy as a way to add excitement to his life only to discover a distinct lack of wine, women, and adventure in the day to day drill and fill of the Williamsville Naval Dental Clinic. Tooth decay? Oh, yeah. Plenty of that. Bad breath? Goes with the territory. The three little words? If only he didn't have to hear those three little words ever again.

Since he's a dentist, I'm thinking that those three little words he's referring to are "rinse and spit."

Worst of all, in his boredom and loneliness, McGill finds himself questioning past decisions, and feeling nostalgic about past girlfriends.

And because he's a guy, the typical guy solution, the product of generations of guy thinking, immediately presents itself:

Perhaps all he needs to do is to get laid.

Yes, that's right. Because doing what the "little man" tells you always works out well, doesn't it?

Naturalfake would like all the morons to know that he's

...pricing the book at the Moron-Friendly price of $0.99 for the first two weeks to encourage readers to take a chance and, hopefully, write positive reviews.

Speaking of Moron-Friendly, "Wearing the Cat" is 100% Moron Friendly and loaded with humor both high and low...really, really low.

Elsewhere in his e-mail to me, he uses the words "ribald" and "Rabelaisian" to describe the comic humor in this, his first, novel. So I guess that's a trigger warning of sorts.


___________

Francis W. Porretto is another moron author whom I haven't mentioned in a while. He's written many books, the latest one, just released this week is Love In The Time Of Cinema:

At 28 Jana Tyrell is already the foremost actress in the world. But she wants the love of a good man, and they’re not so common in Hollywood. She finds it in a most unexpected place: Onteora County, NY, a land that produces geniuses and heroes as if they’d been sown there by God. Her target, engineer and Web writer Tim Beaufort, will be rocked by the changes Jana brings to his life.

Mr. Porretto describes his new novel as "an unusual, highly optimistic romance." Available on Kindle for $2.99.

His other books:

Realm of Essences series: Chosen One, On Broken Wings, Shadow of a Sword, Polymath.
Spooner Federation series: Which Art In Hope, Freedom's Scion, Freedom's Fury.

Stand-alone titles: Priestesses, The Sledgehammer Concerto, Romance A La Mode, A Dash of Spice.

All of these you can access on his Amazon page.

He also has a blog.


___________

The author of A Net of Dawn and Bones e-mailed me earlier this week recommending her own humorous fantasy books that, she says, "skewers a lot of monster tropes."

The author has only looked at AoSHQ "a few times" but was referred to me by "Aliens in This World" which I believe is a conservative Roman Catholic blog.

But the referral was dead on accurate, as I can see from the Amazon blurb for her book, which contains the author's manifesto:

This book was written because I couldn’t find anything like it on the shelves.

...No, seriously. After the umpteenth time picking up yet another urban fantasy that looked promising but on closer skimming had the Designated Protagonist choosing the Sexier Evil, I kind of snapped.

Part of the fun of any story is putting yourself in the character’s shoes. But these shoes I not only didn’t want to slip into, I wanted to set them on fire. Where were the good guys? The honest cops? The ordinary people choosing to do the Right Thing, no matter how hard it was? Where was the belief that there is a Right Thing; that there is Good, and Evil, and you pick the side you’re going to fight for, even if the heavens fall?

In short - where were the heroes?

Yeah, this author is definitely a Moron, like the rest of us. She may not know it yet, but she is. I invited her to drop by the book thread and say hi, so hopefully she will.

She's also written another comic fantasy, Count Taka and the Vampire Brides.


___________

Anna Puma e-mailed me this week, too:

To kick off my plan to write the Alexandria story during the July Camp NaNoWriMo, Golden Isis will be free from the 26th to 28th of this month.

Link to Golden Isis here.


___________

Moronette 'votermom' is putting together a list of moron authors over on the Goodreads site which is intended to be accessible to non-members. Here is the list she has compiled so far. Let her know if there's an author she's missing.

http://www.bookhorde.org/p/aoshq-authors.html

___________

Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.

___________

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

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

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