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January 28, 2018

Sunday Morning Book Thread 01-28-2018

Clarke Library UCLA.jpg
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly compendium of reviews, observations, and a continuing conversation on books, reading, and publishing by people who follow words with their fingers and whose lips move as they read. Unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, silly as they are, aren't quite as ridiculous as the guy's shoes. He looks like a working class elf.

Now Where Was I?

For the past few weeks, I've been wondering whether it was time to start doing the book thread again. I thought I'd wait for "the right time", which means when I felt confident enough that I would be up for the sustained effort. But then I realized I'd never feel confident enough, so the best thing to do, as I told CBD, is to just get back on the horse and not worry if I had my mojo back or not. So here I am. This book thread may be short and/or sucky but that's what you'll get. I figure it will be much like recovering my shoulder's range-of-motion, that is, the progress will be slow, incremental, but positive.

And while I'm on the subject, let's all give CBD a laurel -- and hearty handshake -- for picking up the book thread with no prior notice whatsoever and doing a good job with it. He's a real lifesaver and I hope I can return the favor to him some day.

Moron™ Libraries

It's been awhile since I've broadcast one of these appeals, but this week seems appropriate. So, for the benefit of all of you n00bs, from time to time, I have posted pics of Moron™ libraries and so I would like all of you 'rons and 'ettes, if you feel so inclined, to take a photo of your library. Any photo is better than no photo, but I prefer photos that are clear, sharp, and high resolution. Even if it creates a 3-4Mb file, that's OK, I can work with it. It's fun to be able to read the titles off of the spines of your books sitting on the shelves because they get talked about in the comments. Think of it as inviting the entire Moron™ Horde over to your house for tea and we're all standing around in your library looking at your stuff. You can e-mail the photos to me at:

aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

A STRULDBRUG is an aged person, or someone who has become incapacitated by age or infirmity.

Usage: Hillary Clinton's maiden name is actually Struldbrug. In fact, she comes from a long line of Struldbrugs.

Skip sculpture - 525.jpg
Sculpture By Skip

From Skip:

[T]his is a wood sculpture I made years ago made from a solid maple log. I painted it with stone paint spray and painted the book by hand. Had trouble figuring where to photo it for lighting and background.

I don't see any problem with the lighting or background. It looks great. And that "rock" paint really makes it look like Skip was working in stone.

The Great Divide

It will be worth a half an hour of your time to watch this BBC interview of Jordan Peterson that has been making the rounds on social media this week. Peterson is a psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He has been recently been drawing flak from the SJW howling mob for questioning SJW orthodoxies in regards to gender issues.

Cathy Newman, the hyper-feminist BBC infobabe doing the interview, comes at him with all of the SJWisms in her arsenal, but he just swats them aside like annoying bugs. She's clearly out of her depth. She had no idea who she was dealing with. He knew all about her (As a university professor, I'm sure Peterson is all too familiar with the SJW mindset), but she knew nothing about him. Her stock-in-trade is to take a couple of isolated elements from one of Peterson's complex arguments and use them to put the worst possible spin on it, i.e. "So you're saying women can't run things" and he has to keep saying "No, I didn't say that...No, that's not what I said" over and over again like a broken record. It's so bad that even the liberal Atlantic magazine asks, Why Can't People Hear What Jordan Peterson Is Saying?. Newman clearly didn't, which the interview makes abundantly clear. The social justice warriors have gone so far out there where the buses don't run that they have lost their ability to even comprehend other viewpoints, much less intelligently debate them.

Peterson's speaking tour coincides with the publication of his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:

Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

$13.99 on Kindle.

Here is another good article, this one about Peterson's speaking tour of England, which also serves as a good introduction to Peterson's work and why he is controversial. Not controversial to us, of course. To us, Professor Peterson is just speaking common sense. But he does cause SJW types (like Cathy Newman) to retire to their fainting couches, and that's always fun to watch.

Moron Recommendations

After reading CBD's thoughts on historical novels in last week's book thread, Dave H. wrote:

I would like to direct your attention to a lengthy series of novels written by W E B Griffin and William Butterworth IV...

I just finished the latest in the series "Clandestine Operations", entitled "Death at Nuremburg".

It revolves around preparations for the trials and the attempts to capture several Nazi SS Officers who had escaped capture in the confusion following the German surrender. Of historical interest is a long discussion of Wewelsburg Castle, in which Himmler was attempting to create a cult to continue the Third Reich after the war.

Each of the several series that Griffin has written includes heroes who are far too larger than life...But of interest is the historical background cited in each book he/they have written.

Overall, the Clandestine Operations series is about "the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Cold War." Here is the blurb for the first in the series, Top Secret:

In the first weeks after World War II, a squeaky-clean new second lieutenant named James D. Cronley Jr. is spotted and recruited for a new enterprise that will eventually be transformed into something called the CIA. One war may have ended, but another one has already begun, against an enemy that is bigger, smarter, and more vicious: the Soviet Union.

The Soviets have hit the ground running, and Cronley’s job is to help frustrate them, harass them, and spy on them any way he can. His recruiter thinks he has the potential to become an asset—though, of course, he could also screw up spectacularly. And in his first assignment, it looks like that’s exactly what might happen. He’s got seven days to extract a vital piece of information from a Soviet agent, but Cronley’s managed to rile up his superior officers (he seems to have a talent for it), and if he fails, it could be one of the shortest intelligence careers in history.

There are enemies everywhere—and, as Cronley is about to find out, some of them even wear the same uniform he does.

This is followed up by The Assassination Option and then Death at Nuremburg. Presumably there will be more to come. Presumably.


Books By Morons

A moron lurker writes:

My daughter, Sarah Rothman, has published Suicidal Samurai, a historical adventure novel set in Meiji era Japan, which (in my naturally unbiased opinion) is a great story. Here's the back cover blurb: A samurai-cowboy seeking revenge. A secret society with a propensity for murder. An exciting adventure in Victorian Japan. When Mori Makoto returned to Yokohama after fifteen years of exile, he did not expect to be accused of murder. But when he comes across a dead body, Makoto is unwittingly thrust into a murderous plot involving killers from his painful past. Together, with a boisterous policeman, a thrill-seeking American actress, and a beautiful and mysterious shrine maiden, Makoto will find himself up against a dark conspiracy that could threaten the very survival of the new Japanese government.

Suicidal Samurai, the first of a new mystery series, is available on Kindle for $0.99. That's a pretty good deal.


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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posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM

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