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June 23, 2019

Sunday Morning Book Thread 06-23-2019

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Boston Athenæum

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon, fat-heads, meat-heads, pot-heads, acid-heads, potato-heads and morons who picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. 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 look like something George Jetson might see after accidentally inhaling some space mushroom spores.

Pic Note

This library has been around for awhile:

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States. It grew out of a slightly earlier organization known as the Anthology Society which had been formed in 1805 by a group of Bostonians...[whose] purpose was to form "an establishment similar to that of the Athenæum and Lyceum of Liverpool in Great Britain; combining the advantages of a public library [and] containing the great works of learning and science in all languages."...Today its collections comprise over half a million volumes, with particular strengths in Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts.

Children's Book Bleg

I see many requests from you morons for children's book recommendations, presumably because you want good stories and you don't want to fill up their heads with modern day woke crap. So I am working with 'ette commenter "Brunette the 'Ette" to compile a spreadsheet (or series of spreadsheets) of good recommendations based on age. And by "working with" I mean that Brunette is doing all of the work and I'll just take what she sends me and make it available. The question is, what's the best way to do this? These will be Excel spreadsheets (containing links to Amazon and other sites) and I doubt all of you have Microsoft Office, so I'm open to suggestions. Maybe some kind of Google doc thingy somewhere on the so-called 'Cloud'? Please leave your suggestions in the comments. Thank you.

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

Covertly implying or drawing attention to something by ostensibly avoiding all mention of it is called PARALEIPSIS.

Usage: Remember that thing I told you to stop thinking about it? Well, stop thinking about it.

book cartoon 39.jpg

Jim Acosta Wrote a Book

E I E I O...

Yeah, it's a bad as you might think::

From the hazy denials and accusations meant to discredit the Mueller investigation, to the president’s scurrilous tweets, Jim Acosta is in the eye of the storm while reporting live to millions of people across the world. After spending hundreds of hours with the revolving door of White House personnel, Acosta paints portraits of the personalities of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner and more. Acosta is tenacious and unyielding in his public battle to preserve the First Amendment and #RealNews.

Holy crap. What a pompous b*tthole.

This NPR review is gently but firmly negative:

The Enemy of the People would have been a good place to ask why Trump has succeeded in this project. But Acosta used it as an opportunity to relitigate his spats with the White House rather than to meaningfully interrogate the cultural shift that left huge numbers of people despising and fearing the press.

Li'l Jimmy cries:

"...Members of the press have been so savaged by Trump and his propagandists in the media that journalists seem almost foreign or anti-American to his supporters."

Does this sanctimonious horse's ass really think we hate the media becaus Trump told us to? I've got news for him. We've hated the Eastern Liberal Media Establishment for decades. Let me put it this way: When it first became obvious to me that the MSM was basically a cabal of lying rat bastard commies, Acosta was still in grade school. Oh, and he's got his bloomers in a bunch that we dare make assumptions about his patriotism. Does he think we haven't heard journalists express doubts about expressions of patriotism? Does he think we didn't witness the cabal of lying rat bastard commie media stooges pull out all the stops to get the American-hating Barak Obama elected? Does he think we don't know that the MSM is infested with a rat's nest of anti-American lefties? Does anybody else think it's odd that after p*ssing on America for years, America-hating lefties are now wrapping themselves in the flag and trying to pass themselves off as America-loving patriots?

jim acosta meme 01.JPG

I never thought our mainstream media would get so bad that I'd be yearning for the days of Sam Donaldson.

The Thing That Got Real Big

AbeBooks has another fun collection, Retro Monsters in Books, that has lots of great cover art. Includes such classics as John Campbell's The Thing From Outer Space and Lord of the Spiders by Michael Moorcock.

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Page Art

Moron Recommendations

Here's a rec that's been sitting in my queue for a couple of weeks:

18 Still working my through 'The Invention That Changed The World'.

A damned fine book, but quite a tome. A billion pages, or maybe a little less. Extremely well researched and written.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at June 02, 2019 09:10 AM (2qPhT)

The blurb is pretty minimal:

Recalls the small group of scientists whose invention of radar during World War II contributed to the Allied victory, as well as chronicling their significant post-war achievements.

The technology that was created to win World War Ii (radar) has revolutionized the modern world. This is the story of the inventors and their inventions.

The Invention That Changed the World: How a Small Group of Radar Pioneers Won the Second World War and Launched a Technical Revolution by Robert Buderi is a link to the paperback edition.Also available in hardcover. I didn't any e-book versions.


From an e-mail I received earlier this week:

I wanted to suggest R.F. Kuang's The Poppy War, which reads like a fusion of Harry Potter and the Second Sino-Japanese War, complete with a horrific expy of the Rape of Nanking. (Kuang cites Iris Chang's book in her afterword.) It's not your bog-standard fantasy novel, even if everyone is running around with bows, arrows, swords, and polearms; the gods are very real and very feared for very good reasons, as our war orphan protagonist finds out after escaping her foster parents by passing the rigorous entrance exam for Sinegard, the Imperial military academy. I am looking forward to the sequel (The Dragon Republic) which is due out in August, hoping that Rin will live happily ever after and dreading that she won't.

As of when I typing this (Tuesday afternoon), the Kindle edition of The Poppy War, as I type this, can be purchased for $2.99. Don't know how long this price will last. The Dragon Republic can be pre-ordered for $11.99.

Also, the book by Iris Chang he mentioned is The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II

This recommendation comes with a caveat:

I can't stress enough that this isn't a YA novel unless you raised your kids on stuff like THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, THE THEORY & PRACTICE OF HELL, and similar texts. I had to put the book down for a minute during the chapter where Rin and her compatriots come to the capitol city, which has gotten the Rape of Nanking treatment, and I have a pretty strong stomach.


292 #233 "Okay, I was sure there was an older SF book by the title "Sky Without Stars", about a man at the edge of the galaxy. I can't find it listed. Am I trippin'?" Eris.

I think you may be looking for Poul Anderson's "World Without Stars" 1967. The plot involves a starship crash landing on a world circling a lone star outside our galaxy. The Galaxy is the dominate feature in the night sky there and one of the local cultures worships it as God. It is a good book; currently available for only $1.99 on Kindle or you can look for a paperback with the Michael Whelan cover art.

Posted by: John F. MacMichael at June 16, 2019 06:08 PM (iuRR5)

Unfortunately, I must've missed the sale because the price for the Kindle edition of World Without Stars is now back up to $7.99.

In a far-future era, death is virtually no more, banished except in the case of severe, violent trauma, enabling mankind to spend what were once entire lifetimes exploring the farthest reaches of the vast universe. When the interstellar vessel Meteor is dispatched to investigate a distant orb circling a giant red sun, an error in calculations sends the ship crashing into a different world altogether, casting its surviving crew into the heart of a savage, planetwide war of primitive alien tribes. With no means of escape and hostiles on every side, the situation appears hopeless for Captain Felip Argens. But for the mission’s true leader—crewman, adventurer, and ship’s bard Hugh Valland—impossible is not an option. If necessary, he will alter destiny to end the terrible conflict and bring his men safely back home, even if it takes decades, or centuries, or longer—for a remarkable love patiently awaits Valland’s return to Earth. It is she who sustains him, who inspires his actions, his courage, his song, with a love that is a miracle, a memory, a tragedy, and a dream.

That's a lot of story to be told in only 150 pages. You can also get paperback used copies. Cheaper used copies can be had on AbeBooks for considerably cheaper.


277 Les Kinetic, when son N**** the Valiant was 12, his older sister at college sent him The Lightning Thief. She was a Classicist in college, and my son went from a non-reader to a Classics enthusiast overnight. Went off to college at 15 to study Latin and Greek.

Posted by: Charles the Simple at June 16, 2019 01:57 PM (w7U7L)

If this book inspired a lifetime of study, how could I not check it out? The Lightning Thief appears to be Book 1 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The bad news is that the Amazon blurb is pretty sparse:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.

A little more detail would've been good, I think. But the good news is that this book is only $1.99, so it won't cost you much to find out if it can change your life as it did Charles the Simple's son.


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Books by Morons

Got an e-mail from moron author Max Cossack:

I noticed with delight that Sunday night, the Ace of Spades’ first “quote of the day” was a link to Susan Vass’s Friday “Ammo Grrrll” column on PowerLine. Thanks!

Which makes this exactly the right time to let you and the Sunday book thread readers know that Susan has four complete books of collected Ammo Grrrll Powerline columns for sale on Amazon. Here’s her brand new collection, in which she has truly hit her stride in capturing the absurdity of the “Resistance” meltdown, as well as the righteous indignation of the much-maligned residents of “Flyover Land”. Susan takes on Vice President Pence’s policy of not dining alone with women not his wife; a rousing discussion of bathing vs. showering; her first rodeo, and a list of “12 Things More Accurate than CNN.”

Ammo Grrrll Is Home On The Range: A Humorist's Friday Columns For Power Line (Volume 4) is available on Kindle or paperback.

Max also says:

By coincidence, this weekend, Max Cossack’s new adventure novel Zarah’s Fire will be on sale for $2.99 on Amazon in a "Countdown Sale."

Zarah's Fire, which I pimped in an earlier book thread, concludes the story that began with Khaybar, Minnesota.


'Ette author Kerrie Noor informs me that the sequel to her science-fiction comedy novel Rebel Without A Clue, is on sale this week:

The Edinburgh Festival is about to be invaded-will anyone notice?

Mex is heading for the Edinburgh Festival in search of Legless. Hot on her heels is Beryl a leader who has already dropped Mex in it once and, now plans to do so again.

Beryl must make contact with Mex before Mex finds Legless; retrieve the spark plug formula, find a way back to Planet Hy Man and save her planet.

And all before the Edinburgh Festival finishes!

A feat made near impossible when considering her arch-rival Hilda, a woman as ruthless as a politician. has access to every high- tech spying equipment going.

A Rebel Without a Bra is the second in the Planet Hy Man series where every hero is a woman old enough to know better and old enough not to care.

And the Edinburgh Festival is indeed a thing, not just something invented. by the author as a storytelling device.

This week, you can buy the Kindle edition of Rebel Without A Bra for the sale price of 99 cents.


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


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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