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January 14, 2018

Sunday Morning Book Thread: 01/14/2018

reading gainnzz.jpeg

I can't do anything while I read. I tried to exercise and read, but that was awful. I kept stopping and reading, or stopping the reading when I got winded and was breathing out of my eyes.

I have seen people read and drive, but I am reasonably confident that isn't a good idea.

So what about you....are all of you pretty much like me, or can you multitask while reading?


This is ALH's collection of decorating books, nicely stored inside a rather nice looking cabinet that her husband restored for her.
ALH Collection.jpg

In my younger and more vulnerable years I considered collecting Hemingway first editions, but after hunting for them all over the Bay Area and finding only two, I decided that it wasn't really my thing.

Anyone in the vast Moronosphere collect books? If so, what sort, and why?


I wrote a bit about Jack London last week, and that his politics intruding into his books. That reminded me of another California writer whose politics also crept into his writing, but not nearly as obviously.

John Steinbeck wrote some wonderful stuff, but his work is, at least for me, tarnished a bit by his socialistic tendencies. He was immersed in the pre-war communist world, although to his credit he was not completely doctrinaire.

Luckily, he could write. Some of his short works are powerful, and a few of his novels are excellent. "Grapes of Wrath," with all of its obvious political and religious imagery, is an excellent book that borders on great.

But one short story, two short novels and one non-fiction book are what stand out for me.

"The Chrysanthemums" (PDF) is a wonderful and odd short story that has an interesting perspective, and one that I would not expect from Steinbeck. The writing seems almost awkward, and if you read it you will understand why.

"The Red Pony" is in many ways a YA book. It's short and simple, but it describes the landscape of the Salinas valley so wonderfully, and the emotions of the protagonist are tortured but heartfelt.

Yes, we all read "Of Mice And Men" in grade school or high school, but it is still a taut, interesting book that crashes toward an ending that everyone knows is coming but still hurts.

"Travels With Charley." It's just fun. And it shows a bit of the man behind the writer. Whether much of it is fiction, or as Steinbeck claimed, completely true? I don't know, and I don't care. It shows a love for this country that is conspicuously absent from his modern equivalents.


Medicine At The End of the World

Misanthropic Humanitarian tipped me to this free pdf download, Survival and Austere Medicine: An Introduction. With medical care obviously still necessary in remote, adverse, or hostile parts of the world, the authors say

We believe that intelligent lay people with some basic medical knowledge, skills, and equipment can deliver high quality health care. While it is obviously impossible for lay people to safely and competently deal with every medical problem, and there remain many complicated diagnoses requiring equally complicated or technologically advanced treatments, for 80-90% of the health problems afflicting humanity, simple things done well are all that is required to preserve life and limb and help alleviate suffering.

This is medical care you don't need a lot of fancy equipment to perform. Glancing through the table of contents of this 600+ page tome, it looks like there's a lot of useful information here that might come in handy when you least expect it.

I am not around to monitor this thread (life intrudes), so no lesbian pron links and absolutely no spitballs!

?tag=aoshq-20&topic=world_news">digg this
posted by CBD at 09:00 AM

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