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March 31, 2019

Sunday Morning Book Thread 03-31-2019

university club library nyc.jpg
University Club Library, New York City

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, and everybody who's holding your beer. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly compendium of reviews, observations, snark, and a continuing conversation on books, reading, writing, and publishing by escaped oafs 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 I think you're all going to hate me for, because not only are they a complete eyesore, but the lines are so arranged so that your eyes are drawn in to a place where you just don't want to go.

Pic Note

You'll want to click on it to see the larger version. The Florentine ceilings, imported and installed around 1850, are absolutely spectacular.

(h/t lurker scottst)

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

INTERTRIGATION is mutual friction, or the act of two things rubbing against one other.

Usage: Stormy Daniels' intertrigation records were sealed by the court for the public good.

Books By Morons

This was the first tweet in a thread that quickly turned into a discussion of conservative authors and promoting them. So I stuck my big nose in and volunteered to help out with the signal boost, and I got a pretty good response from a number of authors.

Rawle Nyanzi reached out to me to tell me about his own upcoming novel:

I've got a book coming in May called Shining Tomorrow, about a civic-minded high school girl going toe-to-toe with a private military company to save her best friend...in a world where the Japanese Empire controls the US. Your audience is sure to like this book since it contains some satirical elements about our current political moment. However, the purpose isn't to propagandize, but to tell superheroic stories in a milieu different from modern, 21st century America or anything similar to it.

It's not up on Amazon yet, but more info is available on Nyanzi's website, including a promo trailer. The cover art looks like this:

Shining Tomorrow (low-res cover).jpeg

I take it he's a big anime fan, then.


Next we have A Traitor to Dreams, the first novel by author Alexander Hellene, a sci-fi/urban fantasy mix with an isekai (stranger in a strange land) premise:

Elpida Kallistos has everything she wants . . . almost. There is one unfulfilled dream, one desire standing between her and happiness. Enter the Dream Trashcan from Ideomatic, Inc., guaranteed to eliminate unwanted desires while you sleep. All it takes is the click of a button and the desire is gone, permanently.

And it works! But when Elpida has second thoughts and opens up her Dream Trashcan, she finds more inside than circuitry and wires. She finds a whole other world . . . the Dreamscape, a realm where angelic, winged beings called Stewards hunt down desires made flesh. But her presence makes the Dreamscape unstable, and Ideomatic will do anything to get her out.

This one sounds wild. And it's only 99 cents on Kindle.


And then there's Yakov Merkin's Galaxy Ascendant series, which he describes as "a grand-scope, action packed space opera series in the Star Wars vein."

From the Amazon blurb:

After her homeworld suffers a devastating attack, Grand Admiral Nayasar Khariah wants nothing more than vengeance upon the Galactic Alliance, the interplanetary civilization that had expelled her people and then refused to punish the organizers of the attack. Her opportunity finally comes when she meets Executor Darkclaw, who has been tasked with conquering the Galactic Alliance— to be followed by the rest of the galaxy—by his master, the all-powerful energy being known only as the High Lord.

Things abruptly change, however, when Darkclaw unexpectedly starts feeling emotions he does not understand, and finds himself heretically questioning the only purpose he has ever known—irrevocably altering his view of the ongoing war.

There are 3 books in this series (so far). You can buy a Kindle edition of the first one, A Greater Duty, for 99 cents.


The Compleat Martian Invasion: Earth's Defense Awakens by John Taloni is "a steampunk take on War of the Worlds / First Men in the Moon / The Time Machine plus Burroughs and Verne":

With Earth left in shambles by the Martian invasion, Queen Victoria's daughter Louise must lead the world through a dire emergency: The Martians are coming back. First she must rescue Cavor from his prison on the Moon in order to build a defense fleet. Even with Cavor their efforts would be for nothing without the genius of Nikola Tesla leading the way. And on Mars, unexpected allies fight a rearguard action to help Earth. Meanwhile the Time Traveler repeatedly appears, but is he friend or foe?

The Kindle version is $2.99


Adam Lane Smith e-mails:

I've got a new book coming out March 30th called Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger. It's designed to feel exactly like watching a classic 1980s or 1990s action flick like Die Hard or Demolition Man. It's humorous but also packed with action. I ran a Kickstarter and we blew well past the original goal, so we're also producing an audiobook. Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook all release on March 30th simultaneously.

So you're in luck, because Mar. 30th was yesterday. So what is Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger about?

Maxwell Cain, also known as “Bloody Rain Cain,” is a cop fed up with the murderous hooligans who control the streets of San Pajita, California.

After years of public service, Max is fired for executing too many dirtbags, and he seeks solace at his favorite taqueria. When his comfort burrito is sullied by the careless actions of brutal thugs, Max finally snaps. What begins as an argument over a ruined lunch quickly spirals into a hurricane of blood and revenge.

Max is joined in his fight by the gorgeous Kate Valentine, a baker with an itchy trigger finger. As the two rush into battle against an entire criminal organization, they are hunted by the relentless terror of the seedy underworld: Johnny Legion.

This book is designed to feel like watching a classic 80s or 90s American action flick.

So it's like John Wick, only with a burrito rather than a dog.

Never mess with a man's burrito.

The cover art looks like good, cheesy fun:

burrito avenger.jpg

Hey, that guy looks like Dwayne Johnson hopped up on meth, only with a bit of hair.

I started reading it last night. The writing style is reminiscent of early Mickey Spillane, only not as erudite and refined.

(No actual burritos were harmed in the writing of this book.)

Moron Recommendations

231 I saw David Horowitz on CSPN hawking his latest book, Dark Agenda, and was so impressed I bought it. It is about the progressives war an Christianity and it is very good. It seems incongruous that an agnostic Jew is defending Christianity but he points out that religion isn't the real target; it just got caught in the cross fire. The real target is western values, particularly American values. The concept that all men are created equal and do not need a king or pope or tyrant of any name to rule them arose directly from the Protestant Reformation (and that idea must be destroyed). Although much of this book is pretty grim (not to mention ragestroke inducing), there is humor. Madalyn Murray O'Hair tried repeatedly to defect to the USSR but the Soviets wouldn't have her. They thought she was crazy (or maybe that she would do us great harm if she remained here). I have a few caveats (in addition to it being ragestroke inducing). It's one of those books that are so packed with ideas that you can get lost in the implications of a comment and realize you haven't actually read anything for a few minutes. Although it is not anti-Catholic (Horowitz doesn't have a dog in that fight), it clearly attributes American history and American values to the 97% of the population who were protestant Christians at the time of the Revolution.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Tyrannosaur Wrangler at March 24, 2019 10:54 AM (+y/Ru)

I think the CSPAN video AW watched is this one here, which is about 50 minutes long. It is well worth watching, though the Q-and-A at the end is kind of lame, so you can skip that and not miss a whole lot. He starts out by asking the rhetorical question, "So why am I, an agnostic Jew, defending Christianity?" He goes on to explain that he recognizes that America was founded by a bunch of (Protestant) Christian white guys and the liberties we enjoy in this country came from their (Protestant) Christian beliefs and were baked into the cake at the start.

Tackling a broad range of issues from prayer in the schools to the globalist mindset, Horowitz traces the anti-Christian movement to its roots in communism. When the communist empire fell, progressives did not want to give up their utopian anti-God illusions, so instead they merely changed the name of their dream. Instead of “communism,” progressives have re-branded their movement as “social justice.” Dark Agenda shows how the progressives are prepared to use any means necessary to stifle their opponents who support the concepts of religious liberty that America was founded on, and how the battle to destroy Christianity is really the battle to destroy America.

During the CSPAN talk, Horowitz mentioned that the culture war started with the Roe v. Wade decision. I have been following Horowitz since the early 80s and I had always thought he was pro-choice, but listening to him talk about the issue now, he sounded very much like a pro-life guy. He then admitted that his views on abortion were "changing", but did not go into specific details

You can read all about it in Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America, although at $14.85, the Kindle edition is a bit pricey.


'Terry' de-lurked to recommend The Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant. And by 'fat vampire', it doesn't mean a vampire who feeds on fat (ugh), bur rather a vampire who is a grossly obese fat guy:

A vampire with a conscience saves Reginald Baskin's life by turning him into a vampire. What's not to like? When the former-victim is 300 pounds, slow, weak and out of shape and now destined to an eternity of healing. Always healing back to his original vampire out-of-shape. This tale is an exploration of that crazy idea. Why not? It's really good writing and really great fun on the way. Hey. Reggie saves the day from a vampire apocalypse. Twice.

This is the first of a six novella series best enjoyed in one omnibus volume. Subsequent titles are Tastes Like Chicken, All You Can Eat, Harder Better Fatter Stronger, Fatpocalypse and Survival of the Fattest.

In the series Truant writes the funniest vampire mythos that I have ever met. Yeah. This is Horror-Humor. I never heard of Truant before, and still suspect it's a nom de plume because the writing is just too good... but he works with other guys and they've formed sterlingandstone.net to publish their prolific output, most of which is pretty good. (Some is just word count, buy it's better than 50-50 that I will enjoy their writing.)

Seriously - this is good. I try to pass the word on about it, but no one ever believes. I guess it's just too insensitive to write about fat people, especially if they live forever.

Posted by: Terry at March 24, 2019 10:04 AM (64PZ4)


Lurkette 'vivi' isn't a real lurker because I actually recognize her nic. She calls herself a "lurker-light", so we'll go with that. Anyway, her recommendation is for Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which she describes as "a compelling narrative, masterful and memorable characterizations, and compassionate understanding of the human heart." From the Amazon blurb:

The Bridge of San Luis Rey is American author Thornton Wilder's second novel, first published in 1927 to worldwide acclaim. It tells the story of several interrelated people who die in the collapse of an Inca rope bridge in Peru, and the events that lead up to their being on the bridge. A friar who has witnessed the accident then goes about inquiring into the lives of the victims, seeking some sort of cosmic answer to the question of why each had to die. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, and was the best-selling work of fiction that year.

She also gives a shout-out to The Fixed Period by Anthony Trollope, a satirical dystopian novel set in the future (1980!) about a society that wants to create a utopia. By killing off old people:

The Fixed Period is set in the year 1980 in the Republic of Britannula, a fictional island in the vicinity of New Zealand, and deals with euthanasia as a radical solution to the problem of the aged. The novel takes the form of a personal account written by the President of Britannula about the island's recent history. It has frequently been remarked that when the book came out Trollope himself had reached the age of 67, the exact age at which all Britannulans are obliged by law to retire from their worldly affairs and begin a year of preparation for death.

So Trollope thinks that's dystopian, huh? I'd like to go back in time and pay him a visit. "Hey Tony, guess what? It's 2019 and Mohammedans are practically running your country and also, you can get arrested for saying that a man who is dressed like a woman isn't actually a woman." He'd probably say "Oh pshaw! Did you really expect me to believe such a preposterous tale? Be off with you, else I shall call for the constabulary."

It's available for free.


A recommendation from lurker 'SaltLife':

Wife and I fled the NW to sunny ( and sunnier dispositions) NE Florida so my library currently sits in a pile of boxes but I figured that I'd lurked long enough. I highly recommend Tom Holland's In The Shadow Of The Sword. Technically a non-fiction history book but it reads more like historical fiction and it gives some excellent insights into the origin of Islam. Only problem, since I'm of the advanced age of 29 I can't remember where I got the idea to check it out. Very possible that I saw it on AoSHQ. If not, take a look. The Horde would love it.

I think the genre that In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire belongs in would be "popular history". Take a look:

No less significant than the collapse of the Roman Republic or the Persian invasion of Greece, the evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement. Just like the Romans, the Arabs came from nowhere to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion—except that they achieved their conquests not over the course of centuries as the Romans did but in a matter of decades. Just like the Greeks during the Persian wars, they overcame seemingly insuperable odds to emerge triumphant against the greatest empire of the day—not by standing on the defensive, however, but by hurling themselves against all who lay in their path.

The Kindle edition is $9.99. Holland is also the author of Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic and The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West, "a grand narrative history of the re-emergence of Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire."

book cartoon 20190331.jpg


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, insults, threats, ugly pants pics and moron library submissions 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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