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April 07, 2019

Sunday Morning Book Thread 04-07-2019

kings college london.jpg

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 can't be worn any other way but ironically.

(h/t bluebell)

Pic Note

Not sure which library or reading room this is. I lifted the photo from this page which says "Defence Studies Department, King's College London", but I couldn't pin it down any further.


139 I did a Googular search and apparently this is the Royal Canadian Military Institute (hence the flag):


(click on photo of this library on the right)

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at April 07, 2019 10:02 AM (kQs4Y)

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

EPICARICACY is enjoyment taken from other people’s misfortunes.

Usage: With the collapse of the Smollett hate hoax, the Weekly Standard going TU, the Mueller investigation laying a goose egg, and the Green New Deal held up for the ridicule it deserves, Donald Trump is making epicaricacy great again!

book hoarding.jpg

(h/t Jacquie)

Mirror, Mirror

When I came of (political) age in the early 80s, Colorado was a solidly reliable red state. This is no longer true. This week, I was made aware of The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care) that describes how it was done:

Since 2004, Colorado has been recognized by both parties as a laboratory for the most sophisticated political organizations in the country. The book is a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of these organizations, drawing on interviews with the key personalities involved as well as research and analysis of extensive public records. In a highly readable and entertaining fashion, the authors dissect the dynamics that led to the transformation of Colorado from a solidly Republican to a solidly Democratic state.

Which sounds mighty grim. On the other hand, there's this: The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics. From the title, we may infer it was written by a progressive who (obviously) who is lamenting what he perceives to be Wisconsin's shift to the right. As one of the Amazon reviewers wrote:

This book is a great example of the way rigorous, long-form journalism can help understand developments that neither the regular news cycle nor academic research gets to. "The Fall of Wisconsin" is not just deeply researched and reported but also beautifully written, with a powerful personal touch. As it weaves together a broad ranges of stories going all the way from the nineteenth century to the present, this book makes three very important points: (1) what we've been seeing in Wisconsin over the past couple years has been in the works for a long time, and is the result of a longstanding strategic effort from the Right; (2) what's happened in Wisconsin will also happen in other states, if it hasn't already; (3) if it wants to undo some of the damage done, the Left (and the Democratic Party in particular) better get its act together--to start with, by reading this book and taking its lessons to heart.

It's interesting that these two books appear to be mirror images of each other. But if both are true, then we're just swapping statea. I hate to lose Colorado, but Wisconsin is a good pick-up. Even though I don't think our hold on Wisconsin is as tight as the latter book might suggest. After all, it's *Republicans* we're talking about here. They can find a way to lose a poetry contest to the Vogons.

The 45-minute YouTube documentary, Rocky Mountain Heist, probably covers much of the same ground as the first book.
first book.

Moron Recommendations

Lurkette Jane from Maine e-mails to tell me about an author she recently discovered:

I've been reading books for more than 50 years; it's my favorite thing to do.

In the last year I found the books of British author Penelope Fitzgerald.

She published her first novel in 1977, when she was 60 years old.

My favorite so far is The Bookshop: "a town that lacks a bookshop isn't always a town that wants one."

It's the story of a once-invisible woman who dares to start her own small business, a bookshop, in a small town where the culture is closely guarded by its leading lights.

What I love about Penelope Fitzgerald's writing is its brevity. Every word matters. Images are beautifully conveyed without long passages of description that amount to little more than word diarrhea, meant to show the author's cleverness.

Despite starting her writing career late in her life, Ms. Fitzgerald wrote quite a few books. But only the one Jane mentions, The Bookshop, was ever adapted for film.


228 Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom by Ion Mihai Pacepa and Ronald J. Richland

Deeply interesting dive into the methods of the KGB and their lie factory in Moscow. As told by the highest level defector to the us in the 1970s the head of the Romanian Secret Police.

Describes the slander of Pope Pius XII as Hitler's stooge when he was known as a smuggler of Jews out of Europe during the war. All because he stood up to Stalin. The first two times they tried this smear By Stalin and Khrushchev it was laughed out of the debate by he witnesses who had direct knowledge of the facts. But in the 70s with Brezhnev and the Soviet agent histories she in the west the witnesses had aged and died out and the media was all to eager to believe the lie written by the massive KGB lie machine in Moscow.

More stories are presented, enjoy.

Posted by: Dread0 at March 24, 2019 10:53 AM (Bptbo)

The Amazon blurb is too lengthy to quote here. But one of its points is that disinformation == fake news:

By its very nature, a disinformation campaign can work only if the seemingly independent Western press accepts intentionally fabricated lies and presents them to the public as truth. Thus, Pacepa and Rychlak also document how the U.S. mainstream media's enduring sympathy for all things liberal-left has made it vulnerable to--indeed, the prime carrier of--civilization-transforming campaigns of lying, defamation and historical revisionism that turn reality on its head.

"Gee, I'm completely shocked that our media could be used as a conduit for commie propaganda" said no Moron, ever. Of course, there's a line between being a clueless dupe and a willing participant. At some point, the bear has to ask Brian Stelter, "you're not here for the hunting, are you?"


Lurker 'Tailgunner Sam' e-mails a recommendation for Mohammed & Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy:

I’m a lurker ...the reference to the Tim Holland history book made me think of this thought provoking work by Emmett Scott that builds upon the work of the Belgian Historian Henri Pirenne who posited the rise of Islam was to blame for the “dark ages” not the Germanic tribes. The archaeological record supports the case. Discovered it while researching the canard that all civilization / food in Sicily etc. came from Moslems.

So, if I'm understanding the ebb and flow of the discussion, it's like this:

Old and busted: Rome was destroyed by western barbarian hordes.

Pirenne's revision: Rome was destroyed by Islamic barbarian hordes.

reaction to Pirenne: those Islamic hordes were beneficial and Rome was already busted by the time they showed up on the scene. Also, Rome was destroyed by Goths and Vandals.

Emmet Scott: No, actually, Pirenne was right.

I'd like to hear boulder terlit hobo weigh in on this. This is his area of expertise.


Bookstore Engagement

book engagement.jpg

More photos in the "bookstore engagement" series here. Hopefully, the couple with love books as much as they love each other.

Books By Morons

One of the new authors I heard from, but didn't get to, last week is Declan Finn, an who has written so many books that I don't really know where to start. So I'll start by highlighting the one at the top of the list he e-mailed me, which is his Saint Tommy series, the first novel of which is Hell Spawn. I'm not sure what genre you would call this. 'Supernatural thriller', perhaps:

Officer Thomas Nolan is a saint. He can smell evil. He's forgiving to the lesser criminals who are merely desperate, and even the felons he puts away tend to like him. But when a serial killer wages war on the city, he's going to face the darkness on more levels than he can imagine. Because this killer leaves a stench Nolan can follow a mile away. But proving it is going to be a problem: because how do you do forensics on a killer possessed by a demon?

Finn has written other series I think are worth looking it, such as The Pius Trilogy (actually 5 books), and the Dragon Award (2016) nominated, 4-book Love At First Bite series. I would classify these as supernatural horror infused with a stiff dose of Roman Catholicism, and by that I mean traditional Roman Catholicism, not the namby-pamby long-hair liberal guitar Mass kind.

Most of the books are priced $2.99-$4.99.

Update: Just got an e-mail from Mr. Finn late last night with a couple of pieces of good news. The first is that he has just released Vol. 4 of the Saint Tommy, NYPD series. The second bit is that the Kindle editions of the first 3 are on sale for 99 cents each, today and tomorrow. Here are the links:

1. Hell Spawn
2. Death Cult
3. Infernal Affairs
4. City of Shadows

I included #4 because it also appears to be selling for 99 cents even though Mr. Finn did not explicitly say so in his e-mail.


Author James Cambias emailed me earlier this week and asked me to pimp his new novel Arkad's World:

Young Arkad is the only human on a distant world, on his own among beings from across the Galaxy. His struggle to survive on the lawless streets of an alien city is disrupted by the arrival of three humans: an eccentric historian named Jacob, a superhuman cyborg girl called Baichi, and a mysterious ex-spy known as Ree. They seek a priceless treasure which might free Earth from alien domination. Arkad risks everything to join them on an incredible quest halfway across the planet. With his help they cross the fantastic landscape, battling pirates, mercenaries, bizarre creatures, vicious bandits and the harsh environment. But the deadliest danger comes from treachery and betrayal within the group as dark secrets and hidden loyalties come to light.

Available for purchase on Amazon, or directly from Baen, for a couple of bucks more.


The bio on Henry Brown's Amazon author page is pretty funny:

Henry Brown was born to a fierce Mongol chieftain and a mighty Viking warrior-queen who were promptly kidnapped by alien wargamers from another dimension, leaving him to be raised by wolves on the frozen steppes.

Trapped in an avalanche caused by a tremendous meteor strike and frozen alive, he stood in suspended animation as the centuries passed until a team of nubile swimsuit model archaeologists rescued him in 2010, nursed him back to peak health, fell in love with him, bought him a state-of-the-art underground lair complete with mad scientist laboratory hidden on an uncharted subtropical island, and now cater to his every whim while he devises diabolical schemes of world domination.

True story.

Oh yeah: in his spare time, he writes fiction.

Because what this world needs is more teams of nubile swimsuit model archaeologists.

But what does Harry Brown write? Military fiction, mostly. His Retreads series starts out with Hell and Gone:

This rag-tag gang of has-beens has never worked together before, but Dwight "Rocco" Cavarra has less than a week to train them and lead them on the hairiest operation of their lives. It's not bad enough that they have to plow through an African civil war, infiltrate a fortified terrorist encampment and steal a black market tactical nuke from a mob of fanatic sociopaths - there are Israeli wild cards in play: two death-dealing Mossad agents who don't necessarily share Cavarra's agenda. When the mission is compromised before it has even started, Rocco and his Retreads are caught between bloodthirsty local warlords and the genocidal government in a fight to the death. And this battle might be just the first in the next world war.

Hell and Gone is a character-driven pulp action thriller that will take you on a wild ride.

The Kindle price is $4.97. The series continues with Tier Zero and False Flag.

Brown is also the author of a short novel, The Greater Good:

Infinite crises are going to waste! Greedy businessmen are making profits! Insensitive hatemongers are trying to make it against the law to be an illegal alien! People are harboring intolerant thoughts, while others are abusing freedom of speech to broadcast incorrect opinions!

The world has never known such need for a new narrative to neuter the nefarious network of neanderthal neo-fascists knocking at the noble ramparts of progress.

In a nutshell, the world needs a national agency of superheroes who know that now and then it's necessary to negate a few nugatory individual rights for the sake of the greater good.

( *ghostly chanting* ): "The Greater Good".


Moron author Max Cossack tells me he has a new one out:

I’ve just published a new novel Zarah’s Fire.

Zarah’s Fire continues the story begun in Khaybar, Minnesota: A young girl (Zarah) escapes from the terrorists and traffickers who have kidnapped her and taken her thousands of miles from home. In her desperate flight across a treacherous foreign desert, she must overcome blistering summer heat, hunger, thirst, and predators while evading her kidnappers and their allies among narcotraffickers. Meanwhile, friends unknown to her struggle to find her and save her.

One aspect of the novel of special interest to morons is its realistic depiction of the way terrorists--as well as traffickers in both narcotics and human beings—infest the area near Arizona’s border with Mexico. I know what I’m writing about. I live here!

The Kindle version of Zarah's Fire (The Wilder Bunch Book 2) is $9.99. This is the sequel to Max's first novel, Khaybar, Minnesota:

Islamist terrorists frame small town Minnesotan Nat “Hack” Wilder for the murder of his friend Amir Mohammad. Hack must survive a January blizzard, elude the police and F.B.I., track down the real killers, infiltrate a terrorist gathering, and stop a terrorist attack on his nine-year-old daughter’s school. This is a suspenseful fast-paced action thriller that is often disturbing, sometimes surprisingly funny, and always PC-indifferent.

Also $9.99.


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, 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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posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM

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