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EMT 09/09/18 | Main | Serena Williams Loses To Better Player And her Own Temper, But Mostly To A Better Player
September 09, 2018

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-09-2018

Library of Chuck 01.jpg

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes. Oh, and we've got a new category of readers, escaped oafs and oafettes. 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, which should be burned with fire and the ashes thrown down a mineshaft.

Pic Note

Chuck, a lurker, sent me this pic of his library/man cave which is "full of books and other stuff that spans polar, military, maritime, colonial, archaeology etc etc."

Got a scanner on the desk (been digitizing family photos), the large framed picture on the left is the deck plan to the polar exploration ship SS TERRA NOVA which took Scott south to Antarctica in 1910. Got my late father's USN service shadow box above the mahogany book case on the left, my Inuit snowshoes on the window ledge, my Dad's .22 rifle and my grandfather’s shotgun in the rack to the right of the door, my thesaurus and dictionary on its stand ready to confer with for my writing projects, some Falkland Islands metal signs warning of minefields (located above the windows), and my Weblos completion wooden plaque hanging on the wall beside my inflatable emperor penguin.

Chuck also asked me to put in a word for the book that he wrote:

I would also like to put in a shameless plug for my historical biography I wrote back in 1999. Entitled “The Fifth Man: Henry R. Bowers” it is about the life of one of the men who died alongside Captain Robert F. Scott in 1912 during the race to the geographic South Pole between Scott and the Norwegian Roald Amundsen. Bowers was considered one of the toughest polar men known. His short life is an incredible story.

The Fifth Man: The Life of H.R.Bowers appears to be no longer in print, but used hardbacks are available starting at $22.

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

An OTACOUSTICON is an ear trumpet.

Usage: You know what would be hilarious? If Judge Kavanaugh held up one of these otacousticons to his ear and responded to every stupid question asked by a Democrat senator with "Eh?"

Alt. History or Revisionism?

Just as an alternate take on Lord of the Rings, there's a Russian "alternate history" so to speak of LotR called The Last Ringbearer. It's told from the perspective of Sauron and Mordor, who look at LotR as "history written by the victors".

The book is unauthorized, and the original is in Russian, but there's an English translation roaming around out there on the intertubes that can be downloaded for free.

Can't give you a review of the actual story though. Downloaded it but haven't read the book yet.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at August 12, 2018 12:26 PM (eXA4G)

The commie rag (UK) Guardian actually had a pretty good article about it:

David Brawn, estates publisher at HarperCollins, Tolkien's exclusive publisher, said: "To my knowledge, none of us have ever been approached to publish this book." Russia has operated outside copyright "for years", Brawn added, though the situation is now changing. "Online there are lots of infringements which it is extremely difficult to do anything about," he said. "When you get something as popular as Tolkien, fans want to create new stories. Most are pretty amateurish. Tolkien himself isn't around so it's the estate's view that it's best to say no to everything. If you let one in, you'd open the floodgates."

It's fan fiction. And it's being passed around for free. Nobody's making any money from it (just as nobody is making money from the thousands of really lousy Star Wars and Star Trek fanfics that have been clogging up the internet since the days of 1200 baud modems) so I don't have much sympathy for HarperCollins. At some point, characters enter into the public domain. Else you'd have the estate of Sophocles suing the estate of Shakespeare for stealing his stuff and unlicensed use of copyrighted material. Which might make a pretty funny story, come to think of it.

The Last Ringbearer is freely available for download at archive.org. Like IllTemperedCur, I've got it, but haven't read it yet.

book cartoon 35.jpg

Moron Recommendations

Lots of recommendations in the comments last week for this one:

92 Conflict of Visions is my favorite Sowell book. It isn't an economics book, more of a book on a theory of how people perceive the world.

It is one of those books that will make you look differently at people and the way they operate, and I always recommend it to people who ask the WHY? question with regards to the motivations of people who don't think like some of us on the Right.

Simply amazing, and once you've read it, you can see his theory playing out in real time.

Posted by: squeakywheel at August 26, 2018 09:35 AM (5Jt80)

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy was first published in 1995, and, in it,

Sowell presents a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Sowell sees what has happened during that time not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a tainted vision whose defects have led to crises in education, crime, and family dynamics, and to other social pathologies. In this book, he describes how elites—the anointed—have replaced facts and rational thinking with rhetorical assertions, thereby altering the course of our social policy.


Moron naturalfake has the hots for an Irish author not named James Joyce:

An Irish writer from the same era I think is much better than James Joyce is Joyce Cary.

His novel, "The Horse's Mouth" is easily in my top ten novels of all time.

It concerns an old artist Gully Jimson who will lie, cheat, steal, wheedle, seduce in pursuit of his art and his vision of his great masterpiece which he yearns to paint.

The story is a comedy with a dark streak of despair because Gulley knows he's running out of time and has almost no resources except his wits. And there's this vision, you see, this painting he needs to get out of his head and into the world.

It's frequently laugh out loud funny.

And the prose is beautiful and hilarious as Gulley's descriptions show us his painterly eye and mind.

A quick warning as there seems to be a contingent here who can't read a book without liking or loving the main character. This book isn't for you.

Gulley Jimson is an anti-hero. You might not love or even like him but you will understand his motives and perhaps will enjoy his pursuit of his masterpiece above all else.

Fabulous book. Check it out...

Posted by: naturalfake at August 26, 2018 11:17 AM (9q7Dl)

From the bio in his wikipedia entry, Cary led an interesting life.

The Horse's Mouth, as well as many of Cary's other books, are available on Kindle for $5.99.


If you like, you can follow me on Twitter, where I make the occasional snarky comment.


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.

digg this
posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM

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